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University of California • Berkeley 



GELETT BURGESS COLLECTION 



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MY LIFE AND LOVES 



BY 

FRANK HARRIS 






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MY LIFE AND LOVES 



BY 

FRANK HARRIS 



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PRAXITELES' APHRODITE 



PRIVATELY PRINTED 
1922 

ADDRESS THE AUTHOR, I. RUE DU HELDER: PARIS 



tfflPOft 



FOREWORD 

to 
THE STORY OF "MY LIFE AND LOVES" 



"Go, soul, the body's guest, 
Upon a thankless errand: 

Fear not to touch the best, 

The Truth shall be thy warrant." 

Sir Walter Raleigh. 

Here in the blazing heat of an American August, 
amid the hurry and scurry of New York, I sit down 
to write my final declaration of Faith, as a preface 
or foreword to the Story of my Life. Ultimately it 
will be read in the spirit in which it has been written 
and I ask no better fortune. My journalism during 
the war and after the Armistice brought me prosecu- 
tions from the Federal Government. The authorities 
at Washington accused me of sedition and though the 
third Postmaster General, Ex-Governor Dockery, of 
Missouri who was chosen by the Department as the 
Judge, proclaimed my innocence and assured me I 
should not be prosecuted again, my magazine (Pear- 
son's) was time and again held up in the post, and its 
circulation reduced thereby to one-third. I was 
brought to ruin by the illegal persecution of President 
Wilson and his Arch- Assist ant Burleson, and was 



VI 

laughed at when I asked for compensation. The Amer- 
ican Government, it appears, is too poor to pay for 
its dishonorable blunders. 

I record the shameful fact for the benefit of those 
Rebels and Lovers of the Ideal who will surely find 
themselves in a similar plight in future emergencies. 
For myself I do not complain. On the whole I have 
received better treatment in life than the average man 
and more lovingkindness than I perhaps deserved. I 
make no plaint. 

If America had not reduced me to penury I should 
probably not have written this book as boldly as the 
ideal demanded. At the last push of Fate (I am 
much nearer seventy than sixty) we are all apt to 
sacrifice something of Truth for the sake of kindly 
recognition by our fellows and a peaceful ending. 
Being that u wicked animal", as the French say, "who 
defends himself when he is attacked'' I turn at length 
to bay, without any malice, I hope, but also without 
any fear such as might prompt compromise. I have 
always fought for the Holy Spirit of Truth and have 
been, as Heine said he was, a brave soldier in the 
Liberation War of Humanity: now one fight more, 
the best and the last. 

There are two main traditions of English writing: 
the one of perfect liberty, that of Chaucer and Shake- 
speare, completely outspoken, with a certain liking 
for lascivious details and witty smut, a man's speech: 
the other emasculated more and more by Puritanism 
and since the French Revolution, gelded to tamest 
propriety; for that upheaval brought the illiterate 
middle-class to power and insured the domination of 
girl-readers. Under Victoria, English prose litera- 
ture became half childish, as in stories of "Little 
Mary", or at best provincial, as anyone may see who 
cares to compare the influence of Dickens, Thackeray 



Vil 

and Reade in the world with the influence of Balzac, 
Flaubert and Zola. 

Foreign masterpieces such as "Les Coxites Dro- 
latiques" and "L'Assommoir 11 were destroyed in Lon- 
don as obscene by a magistrate's order; even the Bible 
and Shakespeare were expurgated and all books dolled 
up to the prim decorum of the English Sunday- 
school. And America with unbecoming humility 
worsened the disgraceful, brainless example. 

All my life, I have rebelled against this old maid's 
canon of deportment, and my revolt has grown 
st longer with advancing years. 

In the "Foreword" to "The Man Shakespeare" 1 
tried to show how the Puritanism that had gone out 
of our morals had gone into the language, enfeebling 
English thought and impoverishing English speech. 

At long last I am going back to the old English 
tradition. I am determined to tell the truth about my 
pilgrimage through this world, the whole truth and 
nothing but the truth, about myself and others, and 
I shall try to be at least as kindly to others as to 
myself. 

Bernard Shaw assures me that no one is good 
enough or bad enough to tell the naked truth about 
himself; but I am beyond good and evil in this respect. 

French literature is there to give the cue and 
inspiration: it is the freest of all in discussing matters 
of sex and chiefly by reason of its constant preoccupa- 
tion with all that pertains to passion and desire, it 
has become the world literature to men of all races. 

"Women and Love' 1 , Edmond de Goncourt writes 
in his journal, "always constitute the subject of con- 
versation wherever there is a meeting of intellectual 
people socially brought together by eating and drink- 
ing. Our talk at dinner was at first smutty (poli- 
sonne) and Tourgueneff listened to us with the open- 



VIII 

mouthed wonder (l'etonnement un peu meduse) of a 
barbarian who only makes love (fait l'amour) very 
naturally (tres naturellement)". 

Whoever reads this passage carefully will under- 
stand the freedom I intend to use. But I shall not 
be tied down even to French conventions. Just as in 
painting, our knowledge of what the Chinese and 
Japanese have done, has altered our whole conception 
of the art, so the Hindoos and Burmese too have ex- 
tended our understanding of the art of love. I re- 
member going with Rodin through the British Mu- 
seum and being surprised at the time he spent over 
the little idols and figures of the South Sea Islanders: 
"Some of them are trivial", he said, "but look at that, 
and that, and that — sheer masterpieces that anyone 
might be proud of — lovely things!" 

Art has become coextensive with humanity, and 
some of my experiences with so-called savages may 
be of interest even to the most cultured Europeans. 

I intend to tell what life has taught me, and if I 
begin at the A. B. C. of love, it is because I was 
brought up in Britain and the United States; I shall 
not stop there. 

Of course I know the publication of such a book 
will at once justify the worst that my enemies have 
said about me. For fortv years now I have chain- 
pioned nearly all the unpopular causes, and have thus 
made many enemies; now they will all be able to 
gratify their malice while taking credit for prevision. 
In itself the book is sure to disgust the "unco guid" 
and the mediocrities of every kind who have always 
been unfriendly to me. I have no doubt too, that 
many sincere lovers of literature who would be willing 
to accept such license as ordinary French writers use, 
will condemn me for going beyond this limit. Yet 



IX 

there are many reasons why I should use perfect free- 
dom in this last book. 

First of all, I made hideous blunders early in life 
and saw worse blunders made by other youths, out 
of sheer ignorance: I want to warn the young and 
impressionable against the shoals and hidden reefs of 
life's ocean and chart, so to speak, at the very begin- 
ning of the voyage when the danger is greatest, the 
'unpath'd waters'. 

On the other hand I have missed indescribable 1 
pleasures because the power to enjoy and to give 
delight is keenest early in life, while the understand- 
ing both of how to give and how to receive pleasure 
comes much later, when the faculties are already on 
the decline. 

I used to illustrate the absurdity of our present 
system of educating the young by a quaint simile 
"When training me to shoot'', I said, "my earthly 
father gave me a little single-barrelled gun, and when 
he saw that I had learned the mechanism and could 
be trusted, he gave me a double-barrelled shot-gun. 
After some years I came into possession of a magazine 
gun which could shoot half a dozen times if necessary 
without reloading, my efficiency increasing with my 
knowledge. 

My Creator, or Heavenly Father, on the other 
hand, when I was wholly without experience and had 
only just entered my teens, gave me, so to speak, a 
magazine gun of sex, and hardly had I learned its use 
and enjoyment when he took it away from me forever. 
and gave me in its place a double-barrelled gun: after 
a few years, he took that away and gave me a single- 
barrelled gun with which I was forced to content my- 
self for the best part of my life. 

Towards the end the old single-barrel began to 
show signs of wear and age: sometimes it would go 



X 

off too soon, sometimes it missed fire and shamed me, 
do what I would. 

I want to teach youths how to use their magazine 
gun of sex so that it may last for years, and when 
they come to the double-barrel, how to take such care 
that the good weapon will do them liege service right 
into their fifties, and the single-barrel will then give 
them pleasure up to three score years and ten. 

Moreover, not only do I desire in this way to 
increase the sum of happiness in the world while 
decreasing the pains and disabilities of men, but I 
wish also to set an example and encourage other 
writers to continue the work that I am sure is bene- 
ficent, as well as enjoyable. 

W. L. George in "A Novelist on Novels" writes: 
"If a novelist Avere to develop his characters evenly 
the three hundred page novel might extend to five 
hundred, the additional two hundred pages would be 
made up entirely of the sex preoccupations of the cha- 
racters. There would be as many scenes in the bed- 
room as in the drawing-room, probably more, as more 
time is passed in the sleeping apartment. The 
additional two hundred pages would offer pictures of 
the sex side of the characters and would compel them 
to become alive: at present they often fail to come to 
life because they only develop, say five sides out of 
six . . . Our literary characters are lop-sided because 
their ordinary traits are fully portrayed while their 
sex-life is cloaked, minimized or left out . . . Therefore 
the characters in modern novels are all false. Thev 
are megalocephalous and emasculate. English women 
speak a great deal about sex .... It is a cruel position 
for the English novel. The novelist may discuss any- 
thing but the main preoccupation of life. ... we are 
compelled to pad out with murder, theft and arson 



which as everybody knows, are perfectly moral things 
to write about." 

Pure is the snow — till mixed with mire — 
But never half so pure as fire. 

There are graver reasons than any I have yet 
given why the truth should be told boldly. The time 
has come when those who are, as Shakespeare called 
them, "God's Spies" having learned the mystery of 
things, should be called to counsel, for the ordinary 
political guides have led mankind to disaster: blind 
leaders of the blind! 

Over Niagara we have plunged, as Carlyle pre- 
dicted, and as every one with vision must have fore- 
seen and now like driftwood we move round and round 
the whirlpool impotently without knowing whither 
or why. 

One thing certain: we deserve the misery into 
which we have fallen. The laws of this world are 
inexorable and don't cheat! Where, when, how have 
we gone astray? The malady is as wide as civilization 
which fortunately narrows the enquiry to time. 

Ever since our conquest of natural forces began, 
towards the end of the eighteenth century, and mater- 
ial wealth increased by leaps and bounds, our con- 
duct has deteriorated. Up to that time we had done 
the gospel of Christ mouth-honor at least; and had to 
some slight extent shown consideration if not love to 
our fellowmen: we did not give tithes to charity; but 
we did give petty doles till suddenly science appeared 
to reinforce our selfishness with a new message: pro- 
gress comes through the blotting out of the unfit, we 
were told, and self-assertion was preached as a duty: 
the idea of the Superman came into life and the Will 
to Power and thereby Christ's teaching of love and 
pity and gentleness was thrust into the background. 



xn 

At once we men gave ourselves over to wrong 
doing and our iniquity took monstrous forms. 

The creed we professed and the creed we practised 
were poles apart. Never I believe in the world's 
history was there such confusion in man's thought 
about conduct, never were there so many different 
ideals put forward for his guidance. It is impera- 
tively necessary for us to bring clearness into this 
muddle and see why we have gone wrong and where. 

For the world-war is only the last of a series of 
diabolical acts which have shocked the conscience of 
humanity. The greatest crimes in recorded time have 
been committed during the last half century almost 
without protest by the most civilised nations, nations 
that still call themselves Christian. Whoever has 
watched human affairs in the last half century must 
acknowledge that our progress has been steadily hell- 
ward. 

The hideous massacres and mutilations of tens of 
thousands of women and children in the Congo Free 
State without protest on the part of Great Britain 
who could have stopped it all with one word, is 
surely due to the same spirit that directed the abom- 
inable blockade (continued by both England and. 
America long after the Armistice) which condemned 
hundreds and thousands of women and children of 
our own kith and kin to death by starvation. The 
unspeakable meanness and confessed fraud of the 
Peace of Versailles with its tragic consequences from 
Vladivostock to London and finally the shameless, 
dastardly war waged by all the Allies and by America 
on Russia, for money, show us that Ave have been 
assisting at the overthrow of morality itself and re- 
turning to the ethics of the wolf and the polity of the 
Thieves' Kitchen. 



XIII 

And our public acts as nations are paralleled by 
our treatment of our fellows within the community. 
For the small minority the pleasures of living have 
been increased in the most extraordinary way while 
the pains and sorrows of existence have been greatly 
mitigated, but the vast majority even of civilised 
peoples have hardly been admitted to any share in the 
benefits of our astounding material progress. The 
slums of our cities show the same spirit we have dis- 
played in our treatment of the weaker races. It is 
no secret that over fifty per cent of English volunteers 
in the war were below the pigmy physical standard 
required and about one half of our American soldiers 
were morons with the intelligence of children under 
twelve years of age: "vae victis" has been our motto 
with the most appalling results. Clearly we have 
come to the end of a period and must take thought 
about the future. 

The religion that directed or was supposed to 
direct our conduct for nineteen centuries has been 
finally discarded. Even the divine spirit of Jesus 
was thrown aside by Nietzsche as one throws the 
hatchet after the helve or to use the better German 
simile, the child was thrown out with the bath- water. 
The silly sex-morality of Paul has brought discredit 
upon the whole Gospel. Paul was impotent, boasted 
indeed that he had no sexual desires, wished that all 
men were even as he was in this respect, just as the 
fox in the fable who had lost his tail, wished that all 
other foxes should be mutilated in the same way in 
order to attain his perfection. 

I often say that the Christian churches were 
offered two things: the spirit of Jesus and the idiotic 
morality of Paul, and they all rejected the highest 
inspiration and took to their hearts the incredibly base 
and stupid prohibition. Following Paul we have 



XIV 

turned the Goddess of Love into a fiend and degraded 
the crowning impulse of our Being into a capital sin ; 
yet everything high and ennobling in our nature 
springs directly out of the sexual instinct. 

Grant Allan says rightly: "Its alliance is wholly 
with whatever is purest and most beautiful within us. 
To it we owe our love of bright colours, graceful form, 
melodious sound, rhythmic motion. To it we owe the 
evolution of music, of poetry, of romance, of 
belles lettres, of painting, of sculpture, of 
decorative art, of dramatic entertainment. To it we 
owe the entire existence of our aesthetic sense which 
in the last resort is a secondary sex-attribute. From 
it springs the love of beauty, around it all beautiful 
arts circle as their centre. Its subtle aroma pervades 
all literature. And to it we owe the paternal, mater- 
nal and marital relations, the growth of the affections, 
the love of little pattering feet and baby laughter." 
And this scientific statement is incomplete: not 
only is the sexual instinct the inspiring force of all 
art and literature; it is also our chief teacher of gentle- 
ness and tenderness, making lovingkindness an ideal 
and so warring against cruelty and harshness and that 
misjudging of our fellows which we men call justice. 
To my mind, cruelty is the one diabolic sin which must 
be wiped out of life and made impossible. 

Paul's condemnation of the body and its desires 
is in direct contradiction to the gentle teaching of 
Jesus and is in itself idiotic. I reject Paulism as 
passionately as I accept the gospel of Christ. In 
regard to the body I go back to the Pagan ideals, to 
Eros and Aphrodite and 

The fair humanities of old religions. 

Paul and the Christian churches have dirtied 
desire, degraded women, debased procreation, vulga- 
rized and vilified the best instinct in us. 



XV 

"Priests in black gowns are going their rounds, 

And binding with briars, my joys and desires." 

And the worst of it all is that the highest func- 
tion of man has been degraded by foul words so that 
it is almost impossible to write the body's hymn of 
joy as it should be written. The poets have been 
almost as guilty in this respect as the priests: Aristo- 
phanes and Rabelais are ribald, dirty: Boccaccio 
cynical while Ovid leers cold-bloodedly and Zola like 
Chaucer finds it difficult to suit language to his de- 
sires. Walt Whitman is better though often merely 
commonplace. The Bible is the best of all; but not 
frank enough even in the noble Song of Solomon 
which now and then by sheer imagination manages 
to convey the ineffable! 

We are beginning to reject Puritanism and its 
unspeakable, brainless pruderies; but Catholicism is 
just as bad. Go to the Vatican Gallery and the great 
Church of St. Peter in Rome and vou will find the 
fairest figures of ancient art clothed in painted tin, 
as if the most essential organs of the body were dis- 
gusting and had to be concealed. 

I say the body is beautiful and must be lifted and 
dignified by our reverence: I love the body more than 
any Pagan of them all and I love the soul and her 
aspirations as well; for me the body and the soul are 
alike beautiful, all dedicate to Love and her worship. 

I have no divided allegiance and what I preach 
today amid the scorn and hatred of men will be uni- 
versally accepted to-morrow; for in my vision, too, 
a thousand years are as one day. 

We must unite the soul of Paganism, the love of 
beauty and art and literature with the soul of 
Christianity and its human loving-kindness in a new 
synthesis which shall include all the sweet and gentle 
and noble impulses in us. 



VI 

What we all need is more of the spirit of Jesus: 
we must learn at length with Shakespeare: "Pardon's 
the word for all!" 

I want to set this Pagan-Christian ideal before 
men as the highest and most human too. 

Now one word to my own people and their pecu- 
liar shortcomings. Anglo-Saxon domineering com- 
bativeness is the greatest danger to Humanity in the 
world today. Americans are proud of having blotted 
out the red Indian and stolen his possessions and of 
burning and torturing negroes in the sacred name of 
equality. At all costs we must get rid of our hypoc- 
risies and falsehoods and see ourselves as we are — 
a domineering race, vengeful and brutal, as exempli- 
fied in Haiti; we must study the inevitable effects of 
our soulless, brainless selfishness as shown in the 
world-war. 

The Germanic ideal which is also the English 
and American ideal, of the conquering male that 
despises all weaker and less intelligent races and is 
eager to enslave or annihilate them, must be set aside. 
A hundred years ago, there were only fifteen mil- 
lions of English and American folk; today there are 
nearly two hundred millions and it is plain that in 
another century or so, they will be the most numerous, 
as they are already by far the most powerful, race on 
earth. 

The most numerous folk hitherto, the Chinese, has 
set a good example by remaining within its own 
boundaries, but these conquering, colonizing Anglo- 
Saxons threaten to overrun the earth and destroy all 
other varieties of the species man. Even now we 
annihilate the Red Indian because he is not subser- 
vient, while we are content to degrade the negro who 
doesn't threaten our domination. 



XVII 

Is it wise to desire only one flower in this garden 
of a world? Is it wise to blot out the better varieties 
while preserving the inferior 1 

And the Anglo-Saxon ideal for the individual 
is even baser and more inept. Intent on satisfying 
his own conquering lust, he has compelled the female 
of the species to an unnatural chastity of thought and 
deed and word. He has thus made of his wife a meek, 
upper-servant or slave(die Hausfrau), who has hardly 
any intellectual interests and whose spiritual being 
only finds a narrow outlet in her mother-instincts. 
The daughter he has labored to degrade into the 
strangest sort of two-legged tame fowl ever imagined : 
she must seek a mate while concealing or denying all 
her strongest sex-feelings: in fine, she should be as 
cold-blooded as a frog and as wily and ruthless as 
an Apache on the war-path. 

The ideal he has set before himself is confused 
and confusing: really he desires to be healthy and 
strong while gratifying all his sexual appetites. The 
highest type, however, the English gentleman, has 
pretty constantly in mind the individualistic ideal of 
what he calls an "all-round man", a man whose body 
and mind is harmoniously developed and brought to 
a comparatively high state of efficiency. 

He has no inkling of the supreme truth that every 
man and woman possesses some small facet of the 
soul which reflects life in a peculiar way or, to use the 
language of religion, sees God as no other soul born 
into the world, can ever see Him. 

It is the first duty of every individual to develop 
all his faculties of body, mind and spirit as com- 
pletely and harmoniously as possible; but it is a still 
higher duty for each of us to develop our special fac- 
ulty to the uttermost consistent with health; for only 
by so doing shall we attain to the highest self -con - 

2 



XVIII 

sciousness or be able to repay our debt to humanity. 
No Anglo-Saxon, so far as I know, has ever advocated 
this ideal or dreamed of regarding it as a duty. In 
fact, no teacher so far has even thought of helping 
men and women to find out the particular power 
which constitutes their essence and inbeing and justi- 
fies their existence. And so nine men and women 
out of ten go through life without realising their own 
special nature: they cannot lose their souls for they 
have never found them. 

For every son of Adam, for every daughter of 
Eve, this is the supreme defeat, the final disaster. 
Yet no one, so far as I know, has ever warned of the 
danger or spoken of this ideal. 

That's why I love this book in spite of all its 
shortcomings and all its faults: it is the first book 
ever written to glorify the body and its passionate 
desires and the soul as well and its sacred, climbing 
sympathies. 

Give and forgive, I always say, is the supreme 
lesson of life. 

I only wish I had begun the book five years ago, 
before I had been half drowned in the brackish flood 
of old age and become conscious of failing memory; 
but notwithstanding this handicap, I have tried to 
write the book I have always wanted to read, the first 
chapter in the Bible of Humanity. And so I front 
this foreword with the lovely figure of Yenus Queen, 
and I close it with the face of Christ as seen by 
Rubens when He forgave the adulterous woman. 

Hearken to good counsel: 
"Live out your whole free life, while yet on earth, 
Seize the quick Present, prize your one sure boon: 
Though brief, each day a golden sun has birth; 
Though dim, the night is gemmed with stars and moon." 




Christ and The Woman taken in Adultery 

by Rubens. 



MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Chapter I. 

A/T emory is the Mother of the Muses, the prototype 
A * of the Artist. As a rule she selects and relieves 
out the important, omitting what is accidental or tri- 
vial. Now and then, however, she makes mistakes 
like all other artists. Nevertheless I take Memory 
in the main as my guide. 

I was born on the 14th of February 1855, and 
named James Thomas, after my father's two 
brothers: my father was in the Navy, a lieutenant 
in command of a revenue cutter or gunboat, and we 
children saw him only at long intervals. 

My earliest recollection is being danced on the 
foot of my father's brother James, the Captain of an 
Indiaman, who paid us a visit in the south of Kerry 
when I was about two. I distinctly remember repeat- 
ing a hymn by heart for him, my mother on the other 
side of the fireplace, prompting: then I got him to 
dance me a little more, which was all I wanted. [ 
remember my mother telling him I could read, and 
his surprise. 

The next memory must have been about the same 
time: I was seated on the floor screaming when my 
father came in and asked: "What's the matter?" 

"It's only Master Jim", replied the nurse crossly, 



9* 



2 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"he's just screaming out of sheer temper, Sir, look, 
there's not a tear in his eye". 

A year or so later, it must have been, I was proud 
of walking up and down a long room while my 
mother rested her hand on my head, and called me 
her walking stick. 

Later still I remember coming to her room at 
night: I whispered to her and then kissed her, but 
her cheek was cold and she didn't answer, and T 
woke the house with my shrieking: she was dead. I 
felt no grief, but something gloomy and terrible in 
the sudden cessation of the usual household activities. 

A couple of days later I saw her coffin carried 
out, and when the nurse told my sister and me that 
we would never see our mother again, I was surprised 
merely and wondered why. 

My mother died when I was nearly four, and 
soon after we moved to Kingstown near Dublin. I 
used to get up in the night with my sister Annie, four 
years my senior and go foraging for bread and jam 
or sugar. One morning about daybreak I stole into 
the nurse's room, and saw a man beside her in bed, 
a man with a red moustache. I drew my sister in 
and she too saw him. We crept out again without 
waking them. My only emotion was surprise, but 
next day the nurse denied me sugar on my bread 
and butter and I said: "I'll tell" — I don't know whv: 
I had then no inkling of modern journalism. 

"Tell what?" she asked. 

"There was a man in your bed", I replied, "last 
night." 

"Hush, hush!" she said, and gave me the sugar. 

After that I found all I had to do was to say 
"I'll tell!" to get whatever I wanted. My sister even 
wished to know one day what I had to tell, but I 
would not say. I distinctly remember my feeling of 



CHILDHOOD DAYS. 3 

superiority over her because she had not had sense 
enough to exploit the sugar mine. 

When I was between four and five, I was sent 
with Annie to a girl's boarding-school in Kingstown 
kept by a Mrs. Frost. I was put in the class with 
the oldest girls on account of my proficiency in arith- 
metic, and I did my best at it because I wanted to 
be with them, though I had no conscious reason for 
my preference. I remember how the nearest girl 
used to lift me up and put me in my high-chair and 
how I would hurry over the sums set in compound 
long division and proportion, for as soon as I had 
finished, I would drop my pencil on the floor, and 
then turn round and climb down out of my chair, 
ostensibly to get it, but really to look at the girls' 
legs. Why? I couldn't have said. 

I was at the bottom of the class and the legs got 
bigger and bigger towards the end of the long table, 
and I preferred to look at the big ones. 

As soon as the girl next me missed me, she would 
move her chair back and call me, and I'd pretend to 
have just found my slate-pencil, which I said had 
rolled, and she'd lift me back into my high-chair. 

One day I noticed a beautiful pair of legs on the 
other side of the table, near the top. There must have 
been a window behind the girl; for her legs up to the 
knees were in full light and they filled me wth emo- 
tion giving me an indescribable pleasure. They were 
not the thickest legs, which surprised me. Up to that 
moment, I had thought it was the thickest legs I liked 
best; but now I saw that several girls, three anyway, 
had bigger legs, but none like hers, so shapely, with 
such slight ankles and tapering lines. I was enthral- 
led and at the same time a little scared. 

I crept back into my chair with one idea in my 
little head: could I get close to those lovely legs and 



4 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

perhaps touch them — breathless expectancy. I knew 
I could hit my slate-pencil and make it roll up bet- 
ween the files of legs. Next day I did this and crawl- 
ed right up till I was close to the legs that made my 
heart beat in my throat and yet gave me a strange 
delight. I put out my hand to touch them; suddenly 
the thought came that the girl would simply be fright- 
ened by my touch and pull her legs back and I should 
be discovered and — I was frightened. 

I returned to my chair to think, and soon found 
the solution. Next day I again crouched before the 
girl's legs, choking with emotion. I put my pencil 
near her toes, and reached round between her legs 
with my left hand as if to get it, taking care to touch 
her calf. She shrieked, and drew back her legs, 
holding my hand tight between them, and cried: 
"What are you doing there!" 

"Getting my pencil", I said humbly, "it rolled." 

"There it is", she said, kicking it with her foot. 

"Thanks" I replied, overjoyed, for the feel of 
her soft legs was still on my hand. 

"You're a funny little fellow", she said, but I 
didn't care; I had had my first taste of Paradise and 
the forbidden fruit — authentic heaven! 

I have no recollection of her face: it seemed 
pleasant; that's all I remember. None of the girls 
made any impression on me but I can still recall the 
thrill of admiration and pleasure her shapely limbs 
gave me. 

I record this incident at length, because it stands 
alone in my memory, and because it proves that sex- 
feeling may show itself in early childhood. 

One day about 1890 I had Meredith, Walter Pater 
and Oscar Wilde dining with me in Park Lane and 
the time of sex-awakening was discussed. Both Pater 
and Wilde spoke of it as a sign of puberty; Pater 



CHILDHOOD DAYS. 5 

thought it began about 13 or 14 and Wilde to my 
amazement set it as late as 16. Meredith alone was 
inclined to put it earlier. 

"It shows sporadically", he said, "and sometimes 
before puberty". 

I recalled the fact that Napoleon tells how he was 
in love before he was five years old with a school- 
mate called Giacominetta, but even Meredith laughed 
at this and would not believe that any real sex-feeling 
could show itself so early. To prove the point, I gave 
my experience as I have told it here, and brought 
Meredith to pause: "very interesting", he thought, 
"but peculiar!" 

"In her abnormalities", says Goethe, "Nature re- 
veals her secrets"; here is an abnormality, perhaps as 
such, worth noting. 

I hadn't another sensation of sex till nearly .six 
years later when I was eleven, since which time such 
emotions have been almost incessant. 

My exaltation to the oldest class in arithmetic got 
i ue into trouble by bringing me into relations with 
the headmistress, Mrs. Frost, who was very cross and 
seemed to think that I should spell as correctly as I 
did sums. When she found I couldn't, she used to pull 
my ears and got into the habit of digging her long 
thumb-nail into my ear till it bled. I didn't mind the 
smart ; in fact, I was delighted, for her cruelty brought 
me the pity of the elder girls who used to wipe my 
ears with their pocket-handkerchiefs and say that old 
Frost was a beast and a cat. 

One day my father sent for me and I went with a 
petty officer to his vessel in the harbor: my right ear 
had bled on to my collar. As soon as my father notic- 
ed it and saw the older scars, he got angry and took 
me back to the school and told Mrs. Frost what he 
thought of her, and her punishments. 



6 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Immediately afterwards, it seems to me I was 
sent to live with my eldest brother Vernon, ten years 
older than myself, who was in lodgings with friends 
in Galway while going to the College. 

There I spent the next five years, which passed 
leaving a blank. I learned nothing in those years 
except how to play "tig", "hide and seek", "footer" 
and ball. I was merely a healthy, strong, little animal 
without an ache or pain or trace of thought. 

Then I remember an interlude at Belfast where 
Vernon and I lodged with an old Methodist who used 
to force me to go to church with him and drew on a 
little black skullcap during the Service, which filled 
me with shame and made me hate him. There is a 
period in life when every thing peculiar or individual, 
excites dislike and is in itself an offense. 

I learned here to "niitch" and lie simply to avoid 
school and to play, till my brother found I was 
coughing and having sent for a doctor, was informed 
that I had congestion of the lungs; the truth being 
that I played all day and never came home for din- 
ner, seldom indeed before seven o'clock, when I knew 
Vernon would be back. I mention this incident be- 
cause, while confined to the house, I discovered under 
the old Methodist's bed, a set of doctor's books with 
colored plates of the insides and the pudenda of men 
and women. I devoured all the volumes and bits of 
knowledge from them stuck to me for many a year. 
But curiously enough the main sex fact was not. re- 
vealed to me then; but in talks a little later with boys 
of my own age. 

I learned nothing in Belfast but rules of games 
and athletics. My brother Vernon used to go to a 
gymnasium every evening and exercise and box. To 
my astonishment he was not among the best; so while 
he was boxing I began practicing this and that, draw- 



CHILDHOOD DAYS. 7 

ing myself up till my chin was above the bar, and 
repeating this till one evening Vernon found I could 
do it thirty times running: his praise made me proud. 

About this time, when I was ten or so, we were all 
brought together inCarrickfergus; my brothers and sis- 
ters then first became living, individual beings to me. 
Vernon was going to a bank as a clerk, and was away 
all day. Willie, six years older than I was, Annie four 
years my senior, and Chrissie two years my junior, 
went to the same day-school, though the girls went 
to the girls' entrance and had women teachers. Willie 
and I were in the same class ; though he had grown to 
be taller than Vernon, I could beat him in most of 
the lessons. There was, however, one important branch 
of learning, in which he was easily the best in the 
school. The first time I heard him recite "The Battle 
of Ivry" by Macaulay, I was carried off my feet. He 
made gestures and his voice altered so naturally that 
I was lost in admiration. 

That evening my sisters and I were together and 
wo talked of Willie's talent. My eldest sister was 
enthusiastic, which I suppose stirred envy and emula- 
tion in me, for I got up and imitated him, and to my 
sisters' surprise I knew the whole poem by heart. 
"Who taught you?" Annie wanted to know, and 
when she heard that I had learned it just from hearing 
Willie recite it once, she was astonished and must 
have told our teacher, for the next afternoon he asked 
me to follow Willie and told me I was very good. 
From this time on, the reciting class was my chief 
education. I learned every boy's piece and could imi- 
tate them all perfectly, except one redheaded rascal 
who could recite the "African Chief" better than 
anyone else, better even than the master. It was pure 
melodrama; but Red-head was a born actor and swept 
us all away by the realism of his impersonation- 



8 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Never shall I forget how the boy rendered the words : 

"Look, feast thy greedy eyes on gold, 
Long kept for sorest need; 
Take it, thou askest sums untold 
And say that I am freed. 

Take it; my wife the long, long day 

Weeps by the cocoa-tree, 
And my young children leave their play 

And ask in vain for me." 

I haven't seen or heard the poem these fifty odd years. 
It seems tawdry stuff to me now ; but the boy's accents 
were of the very soul of tragedy and I realized clearly 
that I couldn't recite that poem as well as he did. 
He was inimitable. Every time his accents and man- 
ner altered; now he did these verses wonderfully, at 
another time those, so that I couldn't ape him; always 
there was a touch of novelty in his intense realization 
of the tragedy. Strange to say it was the only poem 
he recited at all well. 

An examination came and I was first in the school 
in arithmetic and first too in elocution; Vernon even 
praised me, while Willie slapped me and got kicked on 
the shins for his pains. Vernon separated us and told 
Willie he should be ashamed of hitting one only half 
as big as he was. Willie lied promptly, saying I had 
kicked him first. I disliked Willie; I hardly know 
why, save that he was a rival in the school-life. 

After this Annie began to treat me differently 
and now I seemed to see her as she was and was struck 
by her funny ways. She wished both Chrissie and 
myself to call her "Nita"; it was short for "Anita", 
she said, which was the stylish French way of pro- 
nouncing Annie. She hated "Annie" — it was "com- 
mon and vulgar"; I couldn't make out why. 



CHILDHOOD DAYS. 9 

One evening we were together and she had un- 
dressed Chrissie for bed, when she opened her own 
dress and showed us how her breasts had grown while- 
Chrissie's still remained small, and indeed "Nita's" 
were ever so much larger and prettier and round 
like apples. Nita let us touch them gently and was 
evidently very proud of them. She sent Chrissie to* 
bed in the next room while I went on learning a 
lesson beside her. Nita left the room to get something,. 
I think, when Chrissie called me and I went into t he- 
bedroom wondering what she wanted. She wished me 
to know that her breasts would grow too, and be just 
as pretty as Nita's. "Don't you think so?" she asked,, 
and taking my hand put it on them, and I said, "Yes"* 
for indeed I liked her better than Nita who was all 
airs and graces and full of affectations. 

Suddenly Nita called me, and Chrissie kissed me, 
whispering "don't tell her" and I promised. I always 
liked Chrissie and Vernon. Chrissie was very clever 
and pretty, with dark curls and big hazel eyes, and 
Vernon was a sort of hero and always very kind 
to me. 

I learned nothing from this happening. I had 
hardly any sex-thrill with either sister, indeed, nothing 
like so much as I had had, five years before,, 
through the girl's legs in Mrs. Frost's school, and 
1 record the incident here chiefly for another 
reason. One afternoon about 1890, Aubrey 
Beardsley and his sister Mabel, a very pretty- 
girl, had been lunching with me in Park Lane 
Afterwards we went into the Park. I accompanied 
them as far as Hyde Park Corner. For some reason 
or other, I elaborated the theme that men of thirty 
or forty usually corrupted young girls, and women 
of thirty or forty in turn corrupted youths. 

"1 don't agree with you", Aubrey remarked: "It's 



10 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

usually a fellow's sister who gives him his first 
lessons in sex. I know it was Mabel here, who first 
taught me." 

I was amazed at his outspokenness ; Mabel flushed 
-crimson and I hastened to add: 

"In childhood girls are far more precocious; but 
those little lessons are usually too early to matter." 
He wouldn't have it, but I changed the subject reso- 
lutely and Mabel told me some time afterwards that 
she was very grateful to me for cutting short the dis- 
cussion: "Aubrey", she said, "loves all sex things 
<md doesn't care what he says or does". 

I had seen before that Mabel was pretty: 1 
realised that day when she stooped over a flower that 
tier figure was beautifully slight and round. Aubrey 
caught my eye at the moment and remarked mali- 
ciously : 

"Mabel was my first model, weren't you, Mabs? 
i was in love with her figure", he went on judicially, 
4 'her breasts were so high and firm and round that 
I took her as my ideal". She laughed, blushing a 
little, and rejoined, "Your figures, Aubrey, are not 
exactly ideal". 

I realised from this little discussion that most 
men's sisters were just as precocious as mine and 
just as likely to act as teachers in the matter of sex. 

From about this time on, the individualities of 
people began to impress me definitely. Vernon 
suddenly got an appointment in a bank at Armagh 
and I went to live with him there, in lodgings. The 
lodging-house keeper I disliked: she was always 
trying to make me keep hours and rules, and I was 
as wild as a homeless dog, but Armagh was a wonder 
city to me. Vernon made me a day-boy at the Royal 
School: it was my first big school; I learned all the 
lessons very easily and most of the boys and all the 



CHILDHOOD DAYS. 11 

masters were kind to me. The great Mall or park- 
like place in the centre of the town delighted me; I 
had soon climbed nearly every tree in it, tree-climbing 
and reciting being the two sports in which I excelled. 

When we were at Carrickfergus, my father had 
had me on board his vessel and had matched me at 
climbing the rigging against a cabin-boy and though 
the sailor was first at the cross-trees, I caught him on 
the descent by jumping at a rope and letting it slide 
through my hands, almost at falling speed to the 
deck. I heard my father tell this afterwards with 
pleasure to Vernon, which pleased my vanity 
inordinately and increased, if that were possible, my 
delight in showing off. 

For another reason my vanity had grown beyond 
measure. At Carrickfergus I had got hold of a book 
on athletics belonging to Vernon and had there 
learned that if you went into the water up to your 
neck and threw yourself boldly forward and tried to 
swim, you would swim; for the body is lighter than 
the water and floats. 

The next time I went down to bathe with Ver- 
non, instead of going on the beach in the shallow 
water and wading out, I went with him to the end 
of the pier and when he dived in, I went down the 
steps and as soon as he came up to the surface I cried, 
"Look! I can swim too", and I boldly threw myself 
forward and, after a moment's dreadful sinking and 
spluttering, did in fact swim. When I wanted to get 
back I had a moment of appalling fear: "Could I 
turn round!" The next moment I found it quite 
easy to turn and I was soon safely back on the steps 
again. 

"When did you leam to swim?", asked Vernon 
coming out beside me. "This minute", I replied and 
as he was surprised, I told him I had read it all in 



12 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Ms book and made up my mind to venture the very 
next time I bathed. A little time afterwards I heard 
liim tell this to some of his men friends in Armagh, 
and they all agreed that it showed extraordinary 
courage, for I was small for my age and always 
appeared even younger than I was. 

Looking back, I see that many causes combined 
to strengthen the vanity in me which had already 
become inordinate and in the future was destined, to 
shape my life and direct its purposes. Here in Armagh 
everything conspired to foster my besetting sin. I 
was put among boys of my age, I think in the lower 
Fourth, and the form-master finding that I knew no 
Latin, showed me a Latin grammar and told me 
I'd have to learn it as quickly as possible, for the 
class had already begun to read Caesar: he showed 
me the first declension mensa, as the example, 
and asked me if I could learn it by the next day. 
I said I would, and as luck would have it, the Mathe- 
matical master passing at the moment, the form- 
master told him I was backward and should be in 
a lower form. 

"He's very good indeed at figures", the Mathe- 
matical master rejoined, "he might be in the Upper 
Division". 

"Really!" exclaimed the Form-master. "See 
what you can do," he said to me, "you may find it 
possible to catch up. Here's a Caesar too, you may 
as well take it with you. We have done only two 
or three pages". 

That evening I sat down to the Latin gram- 
mar, and in an hour or so had learned all the declen- 
sions and nearly all the adjectives and pronouns. Next 
day I was trembling with hope of praise and if the 
form-master had encouraged me or said one word of 
commendation, I might have distinguished myself 



CHILDHOOD DAYS. 13 

in the class work, and so changed perhaps my whole 
life; but the next day he had evidently forgotten all 
about my backwardness. By dint of hearing the 
other boys answer I got a smattering of the lessons, 
enough to get through them without punishment, and 
soon a good memory brought me among the foremost 
boys, though I took no interest in learning Latin. 

Another incident fed my self-esteem and opened 
to me the world of books. Vernon often went to a 
clergyman's who had a pretty daughter, and I too 
was asked to their evening parties. The daughter 
found out I could recite, and soon it became the 
custom to get me to recite some poem everywhere we 
went. Vernon bought me the poems of Macaulay and 
Walter Scott and I had soon learned them all bv 
heart, and used to declaim them with infinite gusto: 
at first my gestures were imitations of Willie's; but 
Vernon taught me to be more natural and I bettered 
his teaching. No doubt my small stature helped the 
effect and the Irish love of rhetoric did the rest; but 
every one praised me and the showing off made me 
very vain and — a more important result — the learn- 
ing of new poems brought me to the reading of novels 
and books of adventure. I was soon lost in this new 

world: though I played at school with the other boys, 
in the evening I never opened a lesson-book; but 
devoured Lever and Mayne Eeid, Marryat and 
Fenimore Cooper with unspeakable delight. 

I had one or two fights at school with boys of my 
own age: I hated fighting; but I was conceited and 
combative and strong and so got to fisticuffs twice 
or three times. Each time, as soon as an elder boy 
saw the scrimmage, he would advise us, after looking 
on for a round or two, to stop and make friends. The 
Irish are supposed to love fighting better than eating; 
but my school-days assure me that they are not 



14 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

nearly so combative or perhaps I should say, so 
brutal, as the English. 

In one of my fights a boy took my part and we 
became friends. His name was Howard and we used 
to go on long walks together. One day I wanted Mm 
to meet Strangways, the Vicar's son, who was 
fourteen but silly, I thought; Howard shook his head: 
"he wouldn't want to know me", he said, "I am a 
Roman Catholic". I still remember the feeling of 
horror his confession called up in me: "A Roman 
Catholic! Could anyone as nice as Howard be a 
Catholic!" 

I was thunderstruck and this amazement has 
always illumined for me the abyss of Protestant 
bigotry, but I wouldn't break with Howard who was 
two years older than I and who taught me many 
things. He taught me to like Fenians, though I 
hardly knew what the word meant. One day I 
remember he showed me posted on the Court House 
a notice offering 5000 Pounds sterling as reward to 
anyone who would tell the whereabouts of James 
Stephen, the Fenian Head-Centre. "He's travelling 
all over Ireland", Howard whispered, "everybody 
knows him", adding with gusto, "but no one would 
give the Head-Centre away to the dirty English". I 
remember thrilling to the mystery and chivalry of the 
story. From that moment Head-Centre was a sacred 
symbol to me as to Howard. 

One day we met Strangways and somehow or 
other began talking of sex. Howard knew all about 
it and took pleasure in enlightening us both. 
It was Cecil Howard who first initiated Strang- 
ways and me too in self-abuse. In spite of my Novel 
reading, I was still at eleven too young to get much 
pleasure from the practice; but I was delighted to 
know how children were made and a lot of new facts 



CHILDHOOD DAYS. 15 

about sex. Strangways had hair about his private 
parts, as indeed Howard had, also, and when he 
rubbed himself and the orgasm came, a sticky milky 
fluid spirted from Strangway's cock which Howard 
told us was the man's seed, which must go right into 
the woman's womb to make a child. 

A week later, Strangways astonished us both by 
telling how he had made up to the nursemaid of 
his younger sisters and got into her bed at night. 
The first time she wouldn't let him do anything, it 
appeared, but after a night or two he managed to 
touch her sex and assured us it was all covered with 
silky hairs. A little later he told us how she had 
locked her door and how the next day he had taken 
oft' the lock and got into bed with her again. At 
first she was cross, or pretended to be, he said, but he 
kept on kissing her and begging her, and bit by bit 
she yielded, and he touched her sex again: "it was 
a slit", he said. A few nights later, he told us he had 
put Ins prick into her and "Oh! by gum, it was wonder- 
ful, wonderful!" 

"But how did you do itf" Ave wanted to know 
and he gave us his whole experience. "Girls love 
kissing," he said, "and so I kissed and kissed her and 
put my leg on her, and her hand on my cock and I kept 
touching her breasts and her cunny (that's what she 
calls it) and at last I got on her between her legs 
and she guided my prick into her cunt (God it was 
wonderful!) and now I go with her every night and 
often in the day as well." She likes her cunt touched, 
but very gently", he added, "she showed me hovv to 
do it with one finger like this" and he suited the. 
action to the word. 

Strangways in a moment became to us not only 
a hero' but a miracle-man; we pretended not to 
believe him in order to make ;him tell us more, but 



16 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

in our hearts we knew lie was telling us the truth, 
and Ave were almost crazy with breathless desire. 

I got him to invite me up to the Vicarage and I 
saw Mary the nurse-girl there, and she seemed to 
me almost a woman and spoke to him as "Master 
Will" and he kissed her, though she frowned and 
said "Leave off" and "Behave yourself", very angrily ; 
but I felt that her anger was put on to prevent my 
guessing the truth. 

I was aflame with desire and when I told 
Howard, he, too, burned with lust, and took me out 
for a walk and questioned me all over again and, 
under a haystack in the country we gave ourselves 
to a bout of frigging which for the first time thrilled 
me with pleasure. 

All the time we were playing with ourselves I 
kept thinking of Mary's hot slit, as Strangways had 
described it, and at length a real orgasm came and 
shook me; the imagining had intensified my delight. 

Nothing in my life up to that moment was 
comparable in joy to that story of sexual pleasure 
as described, and acted for us, by Strangways. 

MY FATHER. 

Father was coming: I was sick with fear: he was 
so strict and loved to punish. On the ship he had 
beaten me with a strap because I had gone forward 
and listened to the sailors taking smut: I feared him 
and disliked him ever since I saw him once come 
aboard drunk. 

It was the evening of a regatta at Kingston. He 
had been asked to lunch on one of the big yachts. I 
heard the officers talking of it. They said he was 
asked because he knew more about tides and currents 
along the coast than anyone, more even than the 
fishermen. The racing skippers wanted to get some 



SCHOOL DAYS. 17 

information out of him. Another added, "he knows 
the slants of the wind off Howth Head, ay, and the 
weather, too, better than anyone living!" All agreed 
he was a first-rate sailor "one of the best, the very 
best if he had a decent temper — the little devil". 

"D'ye mind when he steered the gig in that race 
for all? Won? av course he won, he has always won 

— ah! he's a great little sailor an' he takes care of 
the men's food too, but he has the divil's own temper 

— an' that's the truth". 

That afternoon of the Regatta, he came up the 
ladder quickly and stumbled smiling as he stepped 
down to the deck. I had never seen him like that; 
he was grinning and w r alking unsteadily: I gazed at 
him in amazement. An officer turned aside and as 
he passed me he said to another: "Drunk as a lord". 
Another helped my father dow T n to his cabin and came 
up five minutes afterwards: "he's snoring: he'll soon 
be all right: it's that champagne they give him, and 
all that praising him and pressing him to give them 
tips for this and that". 

"No, no!" cried another, "it's not the drink; he 
only gets drunk when he hasn't to pay for it", and all 
of them grinned; it was true, I felt, and I despised the 
meanness inexpressibly. 

I hated them for seeing him, and hated him — 
drunk and talking thick and staggering about; an 
object of derision and pity! — my "Governor", as 
Vernon called him; I despised him. 

And 1 recalled other griefs I had against him. 
A Lord of the Admiralty had come aboard once: 
father was dressed in his best; I was very young: 
it was just after I had learned to swim in Carrick- 
fergus. My father used to make me undress and go 
in and swim round the vessel every morning after 
my lessons* 



& 



18 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

That morning I had come up as usual at eleven 
and a strange gentleman and my father were talking 
together near the companion. As I appeared my 
father gave me a frown to go below but the stranger 
caught sight of me and laughing called me. I came 
to them and the stranger was surprised on hearing 
I could. swim. "Jump in, Jim!" cried my father, "and 
swim round". 

Nothing loath I ran down the ladder, pulled off 
my clothes and jumped in. The stranger and my 
father were above me smiling and talking; my father 
waved his hand and I swam round the vessel. When 
I got back, I was about to get on the steps and come 
aboard when my father said: 

"No, no, swim on round till I tell you to stop." 

Away I went again quite proud; but when I got 
round the second time I was tired; I had never swum 
so far and I had sunk deep in the water and a little 
spray of wave had gone into my mouth; I was very 
glad to get near the steps, but as I stretched out my 
hand to mount them, my father waved his hand. — 

"Go on, go on!" he cried, "till you're told to stop". 

I went on: but now I was very tired and 
frightened as well, and as I got to the bow the sailors 
leant over the bulwarks and one encouraged me: "Go 
slow, Jim, you'll get round all right." I saw it w T as 
big Newton, the stroke-oar of my father's gig, but 
just because of his sympathy I hated my father the 
more for making me so tired and so afraid. •• 

When I got round the. third time, I swam very 
slowly and let myself sink very low, and the stranger 
spoke for me to my father, and then he himself told 
me to "come up". . .. 

•I came eagerly, but a little scared at what my 
father might do; but the stranger came over to me,. 



SCHOOL DAYS. 19 

saying, "he's all blue; that water's very cold, Captain: 
someone should give him a good towelling". 

My father said nothing but "Go down and dress"', 
adding, "get warm". 

The memory of my fear made me see that he was 
always asking me to do too much, and I hated him 
who could get drunk and shame me and make me run 
races up the rigging with the cabin boys who were 
grown men and could beat me. I disliked him. 

I was too young then to know that it was 
probably the habit of command which prevented him 
from praising me, though I knew in a half-cons- 
cious way that he was proud of me, because I was 
the only one of his children who never got sea-sick. 

A little later he arrived in Armagh, and the follow- 
ing week was wretched: I had to come straight home 
from school every clay, and go out for a long walk 
with the "governor" and he was not a pleasant 
companion. I couldn't let myself go with him as 
with a chum; I might in the heat of talk use some 
word or tell him something and get into an awful 
row. So I walked beside him silently, taking heed 
as to what I should say in answer to his simplest 
question. There was no companionship! 

In the evening he used to send me to bed early: 
even before nine o'clock, though Vernon always let 
me stay up with him reading till eleven or twelve 
o'clock. One night I went up to my bedroom on the 
next floor, but returned almost at once to get a book 
and have a read in bed, which was a rare treat to me. 
I was afraid to go into the sitting-room; but crept 
into the dining-room where there were a few books, 
though not so interesting as those in the parlour; the 
door between the two rooms was ajar. Suddenly T 
heard my father say: 

"He's a little Fenian." 



20 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"Fenian", repeated Vernon in amazement, 
"really, Governor, I don't believe he knows the mean- 
ing of the word; he's only just eleven, you must 
remember." 

"I tell you" broke in my father, "he talked of 
James Stephen, the Fenian Head Centre, to-day with 
wild admiration. He's a Fenian alright, but how 
did he catch it?" 

"I'm sure I don't know", replied Vernon, "he 
reads a great deal and is very quick: I'll find out 
about it." 

"No, no!" said my father, "the thing is to cure 
him: he must go to some school in England, that'll 
cure him." 

I waited to hear no more but got my book and 
crept upstairs; so because I loved the Fenian Head- 
Centre I must be a Fenian. 

"How stupid Father is", was my summing up, 
but England tempted me, England — life was open- 
ing out. 

It was at the Royal School in the summer after 
my sex-experiences with Strangways and Howard 
that I first began to notice dress. A boy in the sixth 
form named Milman had taken a liking to me and 
though he was five years older than I was, he often 
went with Howard and myself for walks. He was 
a stickler for dress, said that no one but "cads" (a 
name I learned from him for the first time) and 
common folk would wear a made-up tie: he gave me 
one of his scarves and showed me how to make a 
running lover's knot in it. On another occasion he 
told me that only "cads" would wear trowsers 
frayed or repaired. 

Was it Milmans talk that made me self-conscious 
or my sex-awakening through Howard and Strang- 
ways? I couldn't say; but at this time I had a curious 



SCHOOL DAYS. 21 

and prolonged experience. My brother Vernon 
hearing me once complain of my dress, got me three 
suits of clothes, one in black with an Eton jacket for 
best and a tall hat and the others in tweeds: he gave 
me shirts, too, and ties, and I began to take great 
care of my appearance. At our evening parties the 
girls and young women (Vernon's friends) were 
kinder to me than ever and I found myself wondering 
whether I really looked "nice" as they said. 

I began to wash and bathe carefully and brush 
my hair to regulation smoothness (only "cads" used 
pomatum, Milman said) and when I was asked to 
recite, I would pout and plead prettily that I did not 
want to, just in order to be pressed. 

Sex was awakening in me at this time but was 
still indeterminate, I imagine; for two motives ruled 
me for over six months: I was always wondering how 
1 looked and watching to see if people liked me. I 
used to try to speak with the accent used by the 
"best people" and on coming into a room I prepared 
my entrance. Someone, I think it was Vernon's sweet- 
heart, Monica, said that I had an energetic profile, so 
I always sought to show my profile. In fact, for 
some six months, I was more a girl than a boy, with 
all a girl's self -consciousness and manifold affecta- 
tions and sentimentalities: I often used to think that 
no one cared for me really and I would weep over 
my unloved loneliness. 

Whenever later, as a writer, I wished to picture 
a young girl, I had only to go back to this period 
in my consciousness in order to attain the peculiar 
view-point of the girl. 



LIFE IN AN 
ENGLISH GRAMMAR SCHOOL. 

Chapter II. 

If I tried my best, it would take a year to 
describe the life in that English Grammar School 

at R I had always been perfectly happy in 

every Irish school and especially in the Royal School 
at Armagh. Let me give one difference as briefly as 
possible. When I whispered in the class-room in 
Ireland, the master would frown at me and shake 
his head; ten minutes later I was talking again, and 
he'd hold up an admonitory finger: the third time 
he'd probably say, "Stop talking, Harris, don't you 
see you're disturbing your neigbourf Half an 
hour later in despair he'd cry, "If you still talk, I'll 
have to punish you". 

Ten minutes afterwards: "You're incorrigible, 
Harris, come up here" and I'd have to go and stand 
beside his desk for the rest of the morning, and even 
this light punishment did not happen more than 
twice a week, and as I came to be head of my class, 
it grew rarer. 

In England, the procedure was quite different. 
"That new boy there is talking; take 300 lines to 
write out and keep quiet". 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 23 

"Please, Sir", I'd pipe up — "Take 500 lines and 
keep quiet". 

"But, Sir" — in remonstrance. 

"Take 1000 lines and if you answer again, I'll 
send you to the Doctor" — which meant I'd get a 
caning or a long talking to. 

The English masters one and all ruled by 
punishment; consequently I was indoors writing out 
lines almost every day, and every half -holiday for the 
first year. Then my father, prompted by Vernon, 
complained to the Doctor that writing out lines was 
ruining my handwriting. 

After that I was punished by lines to learn by 
heart; the lines quickly grew into pages, and before 
the end of the first half year it was found that I 
knew the whole school history of England by heart, 
through these punishments. Another remonstrance 
from my father, and I was given lines of Vergil to 
learn. Thank God! that seemed worth learning and 
the story of Ulysses and Dido on "the wild sea -banks" 
became a series of living pictures to me, not to be 
dimmed even, so long as I live. 

That English school for a year and a half was 
to me a brutal prison with stupid daily punishments. 
At the end of that time I was given a seat by myself, 
thanks to the Mathematical master; but that's 
another story. 

The two or three best boys of my age in Eng- 
land were far more advanced than I was in Latin 
and had already waded through half the Greek Gram- 
mar, which I had not begun, but I was better in Math- 
ematics than any one in the whole lower school. 
Because I was behind the English standard in lan- 
guages, the Form-master took me to be stupid and 
called me "stupid", and as a result I never learned 
a Latin or Greek lesson in mv two and a half years 



24 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

in the Grammar School. Nevertheless, thanks to the 
punishment of having to learn Vergil and Livy by 
heart, I was easily the best of my age in Latin too, 
before the second year was over. 

I had an extraordinary verbal memory. The 
Doctor, I remember, once mouthed out some lines 
of the "Paradise Lost" and tokUus in his pompous 
way that Lord Macaulay knew the "Paradise Lost" 
by heart from beginning to end. I asked: "Is that 
hard, Sir!" "When you've learned half of it", he 
replied, „you'll understand how hard! Lord Ma- 
caulay was a genius", and he emphasized the "Lord' 
again. 

A week later when the Doctor again took the 
school in literature, I said at the end of the hour: 
"Please, Sir, I know the 'Paradise Lost' by heart"; he 
tested me and I remember how he looked at me after- 
wards from head to foot as if asking himself where 
I had put all the learning. This "piece of impudence", 
as the older boys called it, brought me several cuffs 
and kicks from boys in the Sixth, and much ill-will 
from many of the others. 

All English school life was summed up for me 
in the "fagging". There was "fagging" in the Royal 
School in Armagh, but it was kindly. If you wanted 
to get out of it for a long walk with a chum, you had 
only to ask one of the Sixth and you got permission 
to skip it. 

But in England the rule was Rhadamanthine; the 
fags' names on duty were put up on a blackboard, 
and if you were not on time, ay, and servile to boot, 
you'd get a dozen from an ash plant on your behind 
and not laid on perfunctorily and with distaste, as 
the Doctor did it, but with vim so that I had painful 
weals on my backside and couldn't sit down for days 
without a smart. 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 25 

The fags too, being young and weak, were very 
often brutally treated just for fun. On Sunday mor- 
nings in summer, for instance, we had an hour longer 
in bed. I was one of the half dozen juniors in the 
big bedroom; there were two older boys in it, one at 
each end, presumably to keep order; but in reality to 
teach lechery and corrupt their younger favorites. 
If the mothers of England knew what goes on in 
the dormitories of these boarding-schools throughout 
England, they would all be closed, from Eton and 
Harrow upwards or downwards, in a day. If English 
fathers even had brains enough to understand that 
the fires of sex need no stoking in boyhood, they too 
would protect their sons from the foul abuse. But I 
shall come back to this. Now I wish to speak of the 
crueltv. 

Every form of cruelty was practiced on the 
younger, weaker and more nervous boys. I remember 
one Sunday morning, the half-dozen older boys pulled 
one bed along the wall and forced all the seven 
younger boys underneath it, beating with sticks any 
hand or foot that showed. One little fellow cried that 
he couldn't breathe and at once the gang of torment- 
ors began stuffing up all the apertures, saying that 
they would make a "Black Hole" of it. There were 
soon cries and struggiings under the bed and at 
length one of the youngest began shrieking so that 
the torturers ran away from the prison, fearing lest 
some master should hear. 

One wet Sunday afternoon in midwinter, a little 
nervous "Mother's darling" from the West Indies 
who always had a cold and was always sneaking near 
the fire in the big schoolroom, Avas caught by two of 
the Fifth and held near the flames. Two more brutes 
pulled his trowsers tight over his bottom, and the 
more he squirmed and begged to be let go, the tighter 



26 ; MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

they held the trowsers and the nearer the flames he 
was pushed, till suddenly the trowsers split apart 
scorched through, and as the little fellow tumbled 
forward screaming, the torturers realized that they 
had gone too far. The little "Nigger" as he was 
called, didn't tell how he came to be so scorched but 
took his fortnight in sick bay as a respite. 

We read of a fag at Shrewsbury who was thrown 
into a bath of boiling water by some older boys be- 
cause he liked to take his bath very warm; but this 
experiment turned out badly, for the little fellow died 
and the affair could not be hushed up, though it was 
finally dismissed as a regrettable accident. 

The English are proud of the fact that they 
hand over a good deal of the school discipline to the 
older boys: they attribute this innovation to Arnold 
of Rugby and, of course, it is possible if the super- 
vision is kept up by a genius, that it may work for 
good and not for evil; but usually it turns the 
school into a forcing-house of cruelty and immorality. 
The older boys establish the legend that only sneaks 
would tell anything to the masters, and then they are 
free to give rein to their basest instincts. 

The two Monitors in our big bedroom in my time 
were a strapping big fellow named Dick F . . . , who 
tired all the little boys by going into their beds and 
making them frig him till his semen came. The little 
fellows all hated to be covered with his filthy slime, 
but they had to pretend to like doing as he told them, 
and usually he insisted on frigging them by way of 
exciting himself. Dick picked me out once or twice 
but I managed to catch his semen on his own night- 
shirt, and so after calling me a "dirty little devil" 
he left me alone. 

The other monitor was Jones, a Liverpool ,bov 
of about seventeen, very backward in lessons but 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 27 

very strong, the "Cock" of the school at fighting. He 
used always to go to one young boy's bed whom he 
favored in many ways. Henry H . . . used to be able 
to get off any fagging and he never let out what Jones 
made him do at night, but in the long run he got to 
be chums with another little fellow and it all came 
out. One night when Jones was in Henry's bed, 
there was a shriek of pain and Jones was heard to 
be kissing and caressing his victim for nearly an 
hour afterwards. We all wondered whether Jones 
had had him, or what had happened. Henry's chum 
one day let the cat out of the bag. It appeared that 
Jones used to make the little fellow take his sex in 
his mouth and frig him and suck him at the same 
time. But one evening he had brought up some butter 
and smeared it over his prick and gradually inserted 
it into Henry's anus and this came to be his ordinary 
practice. But this night he had forgotten the butter 
and when he found a certain resistance, he thrust 
violently forward, causing extreme pain and making 
his pathic bleed. Henry screamed and so after an 
interval of some weeks or months the whole proce- 
dure came to be known. 

If there had been no big boys as Monitors, there 
would still have been a certain amount of solitary 
frigging; from twelve or thirteen on, most boys and 
most girls too, practice self-abuse from time to time 
on some slight provocation, but the practice doesn't 
often become habitual unless it is fostered by one's 
elders and practiced mutually. In Ireland it was spo^ 
radic; in England perpetual and in English schools 
it often led to dowmright sodomy as in this instance. 

In my own case there were two restraining in- 
fluences, and I wish to dwell on both as a hint. to 
parents. I was a very eager little athlete: thanks to 
instructions and photographs in a book, on athletics 



28 MY LIFE AND LOYES. 

belonging to Vernon, I found out how to jump and 
how to run. To jump high one had to take but a 
short run from the side and straighten oneself hori- 
zontally as one cleared the bar. By constant prac- 
tice I could at thirteen walk under the bar and then 
jump it. I soon noticed that if I frigged myself the 
night before, I could not jump so well, the conse- 
quence being that I restrained myself, and never 
frigged save on Sunday and soon managed to omit 
the practice on three Sundays out of four. 

Since I came to understanding, I have always 
been grateful to that exercise for this lesson in self- 
restraint. Besides, one of the boys was always frig- 
ging himself: even in school he kept his right hand 
in his trousers' pocket and continued the practice. All 
of us knew that he had torn a hole in his pocket so 
that he could play with his cock; but none of the 
masters ever noticed anything. The little fellow grew 
gradually paler and paler until he took to crying in 
a corner, and unaccountable nervous tremblings shook 
him for a quarter of an hour at a time. At length, 
be was taken away by his parents: what became of 
him afterwards, I don't know, but I do know that 
till he was taught self-abuse, he was one of the 
quickest boys of his age at lessons and given like 
myself to much reading. 

This object-lesson in consequences had little 
effect on me at the time; but later it was useful as a 
warning. Such teaching may have affected the Spar- 
tans as we read in history that they taught their 
children temperance by showing them a drunken 
helot; but I want to lay stress on the fact I was first 
taught self-control by a keen desire to excel in jump- 
ing and in running, and as soon as I found that I 
couldn't run as fast or jump as high after practicing 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 

self-abuse, I began to restrain myself and in return 
this had a most potent effect on my will-power. 

I was over thirteen when a second and still strong- 
er restraining influence made itself felt, and strange- 
ly enough this influence grew through my very desire 
for girls and curiosity about them. 

The story marks an epoch in my life. We were 
taught singing at school and when it was found that 
I had a good alto voice and a very good ear, I was 
picked to sing solos, both in school and in the church 
choir. Before every church festival there was a good 
deal of practice with the organist, and girls from 
neighbouring houses joined in our classes. One girl 
alone sang alto and she and I were separated from 
the other boys and girls; the upright piano was put 
across the corner of the room and we two sat of 
stood behind it almost out of sight of all the other 
singers; the organist, of course, being seated in front 
of the piano. The girl E . . . who sang alto with me 
was about my own age : she was very pretty or seemed 
so to me, with golden hair and blue eyes and I always 
made up to her as well as I could, in my boyish way. 
One day while the organist was explaining something, 
E . . . stood up on the chair and leant over the back of 
the piano to hear better or see more. Seated in my 
chair behind her, I caught sight of her legs; for her 
dress rucked up behind as she leaned over: at once 
my breath stuck in my throat. Her legs were lovely, 
I thought, and the temptation came to touch them; 
for no one could see, 

I got up immediately and stood by the chair 
she was standing on. Casually I let my hand fall 
against her left leg. She didn't draw her leg away 
or seem to feel my hand, so I touched her more 
boldly. She never moved, though now I knew she 
must have felt my hand. T began to slide my hand 



30 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

up her leg and suddenly my fingers felt the warm flesh 
on her thigh where the stocking ended above the knee. 
The feel of her warm flesh made me literally choke 
with emotion: my hand went on up, warmer and 
warmer, when suddenly I touched her sex: there 
was soft down on it. The heart-pulse throbbed in my 
throat. I have no words to describe the intensity of 
my sensations. 

Thank God, E . . . . did not move or show 
any sign of distaste. Curiosity was stronger even 
than desire in me; 1 felt her sex all over and at once 
the idea came into my head that it was like a fig 
(the Italians, I learned later, call it familiarly "fica") ; 
it opened at my touches and I inserted my finger 
gently, as Strangways had told me that Mary had 
taught him to do ; still E . . . . did not move. Gently 
I rubbed the front part of her sex with my finger. I 
could have kissed her a thousand times out of pas- 
sionate gratitude. 

Suddenly as I went on, I felt her move and then 
again; plainly she was showing me where my touch 
gave her most pleasure: I could have died for her in 
thanks; again she moved and I could feel a little 
mound or small button of flesh right in the front of 
her sex, above the junction of the inner lips: of 
course it was her clitoris. I had forgotten all the old 
Methodist doctor's books till that moment; this frag- 
ment of long forgotten knowledge came back to me: 
gently I rubbed the clitoris and at once she pressed 
down on my finger for a moment or two. I tried to 
insert my finger into the vagina; but she drew away 
at once and quickly, closing her sex as if it hurt, so 
1 went back to caressing her tickler. 

Sudden the miracle ceased. The cursed orga- 
nist had finished his. explanation of the new plain 
chant, and. as he. touched the first notes on the piano, 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 31 

E drew her legs together; I took away my hand 

and she stepped down from the chair: "You darling, 
darling", I whispered; but she frowned, and then 
just gave me a smile out of the corner of her eye 
to show me she was not displeased. 

Ah, how lovely, how seductive she seemed V> 
me now, a thousand times lovelier and more desirable 
than ever before. As we stood up to sing again, I 
whispered to her: "I love you, love you, dear, dear!" 

I can never express the passion of gratitude I 
felt to her for her goodness, her sweetness in letting 

me touch her sex. E it was who opened the 

Gates of Paradise to me and let me first taste the 
hidden mysteries of sexual delight. Still, after more 
than fifty years I feel the thrill of the joy she gave 
me by her response, and the passionate reverence of 
my gratitude is still alive in me. 

This experience with E . . , . had the most impor- 
tant and unlooked for results. The mere fact that 
girls could feel sex pleasure "just as boys do" in- 
creased my liking for them and lifted the whole 
sexual intercourse to a higher plane in my thought. 
The excitement and pleasure were so much more in- 
tense than anything I had experienced before that I 
resolved to keep myself for this higher joy. No 
more self aburc for me; I knew something infinitely 
better. One kiss was better, one touch of a girl's sex. 
That kissing and caressing a girl could inculcate - 
self -restraint is not taught by our spiritual guides 
and masters; but is nevertheless true. Another cog- 
nate experience came at this time to reinforce the 
same lesson. J had read all Scott and his heroine 
Di Vernon made a great impression on me. I resolved 
now to keep all my passion for some Di Vernon in 
the future. Thus the first experiences of passion anc* 

4 



32 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

the reading of a love story completely cured me of 
the bad habit of self -abuse. 

Naturally after this first divine experience, I was 
on edge for a second and keen as a questing hawk. 

I could not see E till the next music-lesson, a 

week to wait; but even such a week comes to an end, 
and once more we were imprisoned in our solitude 
behind the piano ; but though I whispered all the sweet 
and pleading words I could imagine, E . . . did nothing 
but frown refusal and shake her pretty head. This 
killed for the moment all my faith in girls: why did 
she act so? I puzzled my brain for a reasonable 
answer and found none. It was part of the damned 
inscrutability of girls but at the moment it filled me 
with furious anger. I was savage with disappoint- 
ment. 

"You're mean!" I whispered to her at long last 
and I would have said more if the organist hadn't 
called on me for a solo which I sang very badly, so 
badly indeed that he made me come from behind 
the piano and thus abolished even the chance of 
future intimacies. Time and again I cursed organist 
and girl, but I was always on the alert for a similar 
experience. As dog fanciers say of hunting dogs, "I 
had tasted blood and could never afterwards forget 
the scent of it." 

Twenty-five years or more later, I dined with 
Frederic Chapman, the publisher of "The Fortnightly 
Review", which I was then editing; he asked me some 
weeks afterwards had I noticed a lady and described 
her dress to me, adding, "She was very curious about 
you. As soon as you came into the room she recogniz- 
ed you and has asked me to tell her if you recognized 
her; did you?" 

I shook my head: "I'm near-sighted, you know", 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 33 

I said, "and therefore to be forgiven, but when did 
she know me?" 

He replied, "As a boy at school; she said you 
would remember her by her Christian name of E ". 

"Of course I do", I cried, "Oh! please tell me her 
name and where she lives. I'll call on her, I want 
(and then reflection came to suggest prudence) to 
ask her some questions", I added lamely. 

"I can't give you her name or address", he re- 
plied, "I promised her not to, but she's long been 
happily married I was to tell you". 

I pressed him but he remained obstinate, and on 
second thoughts I came to see that I had no right to 
push myself on a married woman who did not wish 
to renew acquaintance with me, but oh! I longed to see 
her and hear from her own lips the explanation of 
what to me at the time seemed her inexplicable, cruel 
change of attitude. 

As a man, of course, I know she may have had 
a very good reason indeed, and her mere name still 
carries a glamour about it for me, an unforgettable 
fascination. 

My father was always willing to encourage self 
reliance in me: indeed, he tried to make me act as a 
man while I was still a mere child. The Christmas 
holidays only lasted for four weeks; it was cheaper 
for me, therefore, to take lodgings in some neigh 
boring town rather than return to Ireland. Accor- 
dingly the Headmaster received the request to give 
me some seven pounds for my expenses and he did 
so, adding moreover much excellent advice. 

My first holiday I spent in the watering-place 
of Rhyl in North Wales because a chum of mine, 
Evan Morgan, came from the place and told me he'd 
make it interesting for me. And in truth he did a 
good deal to make me like the people and love the 



34 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

place. He introduced me to three or four girls, 
among whom I took a great fancy to one Gertrude 
Hanniford. Gertie was over fifteen, tall and very 
pretty, I thought, with long plaits of chestnut hair; 
one of the best companions possible. She would kiss 
me willingly; but whenever I tried to touch her more 
intimately, she would wrinkle her little nose with 
"Don't!" or "Don't be dirty!" 

One day I said to her reproachfully : "You'll make 
me couple 'dirty' with 'Gertie' if you go on using 
it so often." Bit by bit she grew tamer, though all too 
slowly for my desires; but luck was eager to help me. 

One evening late we were together on some high 
ground behind the town when suddenly there came a 
great glare in the sky, which lasted two or three mi- 
nutes: the next moment we were shaken by a sort 
of earthquake accompanied by a dull thud. 

"An explosion!" I cried, "on the railway: let's 
go and see!" And away we set off for the railway. 
For a hundred yards or so Gertie was as fast as I 
was; but after the first quarter of a mile I had to 
hold in so as not to leave her. Still for a girl she 
was very fast and strong. We took a footpath along- 
side the railway, for we found running over the 
wooden ties, very slow and dangerous. We had 
covered a little over a mile when we saw the blaze 
in front of us and a crowd of figures moving about 
before the glare. 

In a few minutes we were opposite three or four 
blazing railway carriages and the wreck of an 
engine. 

"How awful!" cried Gertie. "Let's get over the 
fence", I replied, "and go close!" The next moment 
I had thrown myself on the wooden paling and half 
vaulted, half clambered over it. But Gertie's skirts 
prevented her from imitating me. As she stood in 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 35 

dismay, a great thought came to me: "Step on the 
iow rail, Gertie", I cried, "and then on the upper one 
and I'll lift you over. Quick!" 

At once she did as she was told and while she 
stood with a foot on each rail hesitating and her hand 
on my head to steady herself, I put my right hand and 
arm between her legs and pulling her at the same 
moment towards me with my left hand, I lifted her 
over safely but my arm was in her crotch and when I 
withdrew it, my right hand stopped on her sex and 
began to touch it: 

It was larger than E . . .'s and had more hairs 
and was just as soft but she did not give me time 
to let it excite me so intensely. 

"Don't!" she exclaimed angrily: "take your hand 
away!" And slowly, reluctantly I obeyed, trying to 
excite her first; as she still scowled: "Come quick!" 
I cried and taking her hand drew her over to the 
blazing wreck. 

In a little while we learned what had happened: 
a goods train loaded with barrels of oil had been at 
the top of the siding; it began to glide down of its 
own weight and ran into the Irish Express on its 
way from London to Holyhead. When the two met, 
the oil barrels were hurled over the engine of the 
express train, caught fire on the way and poured in 
flame over the first three carriages, reducing them 
and their unfortunate inmates to cinders in a very 
short time. There were a few persons burned and 
singed in the fourth and fifth carriages; but not many. 
Open-eyed we watched the gang of workmen lift out 
charred things like burnt logs rather than men and 
women, and lay them reverently in rows alongside the 
rails: about forty bodies, if I remember rightly, we^e 
taken out of that holocaust. 

Suddenlv Gertie realised that it was late and 



36 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

quickly hand in hand we made our way home: "they'll 
be angry with me", said Gertie, "for being so late, it's 
after midnight". "When you tell them what you've 
seen!" I replied, "they won't wonder that we waited". 
As we parted I said, "Gertie dear, I want to thank 
you — " "What for" she said shortly. "You know", 
I said cunningly, "it was so kind of you" 
she made a face at me and ran up the steps into her 
house. 

Slowly I returned to my lodgings, only to find 
myself the hero of the house when I told the story 
in the morning. 

That experience in common made Gertie and 
myself great friends. She used to kiss me and say I 
was sweet: once even she let me see her breasts when 
I told her a girl (I didn't say who it was) had shown 
hers to me once: her breasts were nearly as 
large as my sister's and very pretty. Gertie 
even let me touch her legs right up to the knee; 
but as soon as I tried to go further, she would pull 
down her dress with a frown. Still I was always 
going higher, making progress; persistence brings 
one closer to any goal; but alas, it was near the end 
of the Christmas holidays and though I returned to 
Rhyl at Easter, I never saw Gertie again. 

When I was just over thirteen I tried mainly 
out of pity to get up a revolt of the fags, and at first 
had a partial success, but some of the little fellows 
talked and as a ringleader I got a trouncing. The Mon- 
itors threw me down on my face on a long desk: 
one sixth form boy sat on my head and another on 
my feet, and a third, it was Jones, laid on with an 
ashplant. I bore it without a groan but I can never 
describe the storm of rage and hate that boiled in me. 
Do English fathers really believe that such work is 
a part of education? It made me murderous. When 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 37 

they let me up, I looked at Jones and if looks could 
kill, he'd have had short shrift. He tried to hit me 
but I dodged ilie blow and went out to plot revenge. 

Jones was the head of the cricket First Eleven in 
which I too was given a place just for my bowling. 
Vernon of the Sixth was the chief bowler, but I was 
second, the only boy in the lower school who was 
in the Eleven at all. Soon afterwards a team from 
some other school came over to play us: the rival 
captains met before the tent, all on their best 
behaviour; for some reason, Vernon not being ready 
or something, I was given the new ball. A couple of 
the masters stood near. Jones lost the toss and said 
to the rival captain very politely, "If you're ready. 
Sir! we'll go out". The other captain bowed smiling, 
my chance had come: 

"I'm not going to play with you, you brute!' 1 I 
cried and dashed the ball in Jones's face. 

He was very quick and throwing his head aside, 
escaped the full force of the blow; still the seam of 
the new ball grazed his cheek-bone and broke the 
skin: everyone stood amazed: only people who know 
the strength of English conventions can realise the 
sensation. Jones himself did not know what to do 
but took out his handkerchief to mop the blood, the 
skin being just broken. As for me, I walked away by 
myself. I had broken the supreme law of our school- 
boy honour: never to give away our dissensions to a 
master, still less to boys and masters from another 
school; I had sinned in public, too, and before 
everyone; I'd be universaly condemned. 

The truth is, I was desperate, dreadfully 
unhappy, for since the breakdown of the fags' revolt 
the lower boys had drawn away from me and the 
older boys never spoke to me if they could help it and 
then it was alwavs as "Pat". 



38 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

I felt myself an outcast and was utterly lonely 
and miserable as only despised outcasts can be. I 
was sure, too, I should be expelled and knew my 
father would judge me harshly; he was always on 
the side of the authorities and masters. However, 
the future was not to be as gloomy as my imagination 
pictured it. 

The Mathematical Master was a young Cam- 
bridge man of perhaps six and twenty, Stackpole by 
name: I had asked him one day about a problem in 
algebra and he had been kind to me. On returning to 
the school this fatal afternoon about six, I happened 
to meet him on the edge of the playing field and by 
a little sympathy he soon drew out my whole story. 

"I want to be expelled. I hate the beastly 
school", was my cry. All the charm of the Irish 
schools was fermenting in me : I missed the kindliness 
of boy to boy and of the masters to the boys; above all 
the imaginative fancies of fairies and "the little 
people" which had been taught us by our nurses and 
though only half believed in; yet enriched and glorified 
life, — all this was lost to me. My head in especial, 
was full of stories of Banshees and fairy queens and 
heroes, half due to memory, half to my own shaping, 
which made me a desirable companion to Irish boys 
and only got me derision from the English. 

"I wish I had known that you were being 
fagged". Stackpole said when he had heard all, 'I 
can easily remedy that", and he went with me to 
the schoolroom and then and there erased my name 
from the fags' list and wrote in my name in the First 
Mathematical Division. 

"There", he said with a smile, "you are now in 
the Upper School where you belong. I think", he 
added, "I had better go and tell the Doctor wliat 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 39 

I've done. Don't be down-hearted, Harris", he added, 
"it'll all come right." 

Next day the Sixth did nothing except cut out 
my name from the list of the First Eleven: I was 
told that Jones was going to thrash me but I start- 
led my informant by saying: "I'll put a knife into hira 
if he lays a hand on me : you can tell him so." 

In fact, however, I was half sent to Coventry and 
what hurt me most was that it was the boys of the 
Lower School who were coldest to me, the very boys 
for whom I had been righting. That gave me a bitter 
foretaste of what was to happen to me again and 
again all through my life. 

The partial boycotting of me didn't affect me 
much; I went for long walks in the beautiful park 
of Sir W. W near the school. 

I have said many harsh things here of English 
school life; but for me it had two great redeeming 
features: the one was the library which was open 
to every boy, and the other the physical training of 
the playing fields, the various athletic exercises and 
the gymnasium. The library to me for some months 
meant Walter Scott. How right George Eliot was 
to speak of him as "making the joy of many a young 
life". Certain scenes of his made ineffaceable im- 
pressions on me though unfortunately not always his 
best work. The wrestling match between the Puritan, 
Balfour of Burleigh and the soldier was one of my 
beloved passages. Another favorite page was approv- 
ed, too, by my maturer judgment, the brave suicide 
of the little atheist apothecary in the "Fair Maid of 
Perth". But Scott's finest work, such as the character 
painting of old Scotch servants, left me cold. Dickens 
I never could stomach, either as a boy or in later life- 
'His "Tale of Two Cities" and "Nicholas Nickleby" 
seemed to me then about the best and I've never had 



40 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

any desire since to revise my judgment after reading 
"David Copperfield" in my student days and finding 
men painted by a name or phrase or gesture, women 
by their modesty and souls by some silly catchword; 
"the mere talent of the caricaturist", I said to myself, 
"at his best another Hogarth". 

Naturally the romances and tales of adventure 
were all swallowed whole; but few affected me 
vitally: "The Chase of the White Horse" by Mayne 
Reid, lives with me still because of the love-scenes with 
the Spanish heroine, and Marryat's "Peter Simple" 
which I read a hundred times and could read again 
tomorrow; for there is better character painting in 
Chucks, the boatswain, than in all Dickens, in my 
poor opinion. I remember being astounded ten years 
later when Carlyle spoke of Marryat with contempt. 
I knew he was unfair, just as I am probably unfair 
to Dickens: after all, even Hogarth has one or two 
good pictures to his credit, and no one survives even 
three generations without some merit. 

In my two years I read every book in the library, 
and half a dozen are still beloved by me. 

I profited, too, from all games and exercises. I 
was no good at cricket ; I was shortsighted and caught 
some nasty knocks through an unsuspected 
astigmatism; but I had an extraordinary knack of 
bowling which, as I have stated, put me in the First 
Eleven. I liked football and was good at it. I took 
t he keenest delight in every form of exercise : I could 
jump and run better than almost any boy of my age 
and in wrestling and a little later in boxing, was 
among the best in the school. In the gymnasium, too. 
I practiced assiduously; I was so eager to excel that 
the teacher was continually advising me to go slow. 
At fourteen I could pull myself up with my right 
hand till mv chin was above the bar. 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 41 

In all games the English have a high ideal of 
fairness and courtesy. No one ever took an unfair 
advantage of another and courtesy was a law. If 
another school sent a team to play us at cricket or 
football, the victors aways cheered the vanquished 
when the game was over, and it was a rule for the 
Captain to thank the Captain of the visitors for his 
kindness in coming and for the good game he had 
given us. This custom obtained too in the Royal 
Schools in Ireland that were founded for the English 
garrison, but I couldn't help noting that these- 
courtesies were not practiced in ordinary Irish 
schools. It was for years the only tiling in which 
T had to admit the superiority of John Bull. 

The ideal of a gentleman is not a very high one. 
Klmerson says somewhere that the evolution of the 
gentleman is the chief spiritual product of the last 
two or three centuries; but the concept, it seems to 
me, dwarfs the ideal. A "gentleman" to me is a thing 
of some parts but no magnitude: one should be a 
gentleman and much more: a thinker, guide or artist. 

English custom in the games taught me the value 
and need of courtesy, and athletics practiced assi- 
duously did much to steel and strengthen my control 
of all my bodily desires: they gave my mind and 
reason the mastery of me. At the same time they 
taught me the laws of health and the necessity of 
obeying them. 

I found out that by drinking little at meals I 
could reduce my weight very quickly and was thereby 
enabled to jump higher than ever; but when I went 
on reducing I learned that there was a limit beyond 
which, if I persisted, I began to lose strength: athlet- 
ics taught me what the French call the juste milieu, 
the middle path of moderation. 



42 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

When I was about fourteen I discovered that to 
think of love before going to sleep was to dream of 
it during the night. And this experience taught me 
something else; if I repeated any lesson just before 
going to sleep, I knew it perfectly next morning; the 
mind, it seems, works even during unconsciousness. 
Often since, I have solved problems during sleep in 
mathematics and in chess that have puzzled me during 
the day. 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 

Chapter III. 

I n my thirteenth year the most important experience- 
took place of my schoolboy life. Walking out one- 
day with a West Indian boy of sixteen or so, I admit- 
ted that I was going to be "confirmed" in the Church 
of England. I was intensely religious at this time 
and took the whole rite with appalling seriousness^ 
"Believe and thou shalt be saved" rang in my ears 
day and night, but I had no happy conviction. Be- 
lieve what? "Believe in me, Jesus". Of course I be- 
lieve; then I should be happy, and I was not happy.. 

"Believe not" and eternal damnation and eternal 
torture follow. My soul revolted at the iniquity of 
the awful condemnation. What became of the myr- 
iads who had not heard of Jesus? It was all a hor- 
rible puzzle to me; but the radiant figure and sweet 
teaching of Jesus just enabled me to believe and re- 
solve to live as he had lived, unselfishly — purely. 
I never liked that word "purely" and used to relegate 
it to the darkest background of my thought. But I 
would try to be good — I'd try at least! 

"Do you believe all the fairy stories in the Bible?" 
my companion asked. 

"Of course I do", I replied, "It's the Word of 
God, isn't it?" "Who is God?" asked the West Indian. 



44 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"He made the world", I added, "alt this wonder" 
— and with a gesture I included earth and sky. 

"Who made God!" asked my companion. 

I turned away stricken: in a flash I saw I had 
•been building on a word taught to me: "who made 
{jod?" I walked away alone, up the long meadow 
by the little brook, my thoughts in a whirl : story after 
story that I had accepted were now to me "fairy 
stories". Jonah hadn't lived three days in a whale's 
belly. A man couldn't get down a whale's throat. 
The Gospel of Matthew began with Jesus' pedigree, 
showing that he had been born of the seed of David 
through Joseph, Ms father, and in the very next 
chapter you are told that Joseph wasn't his father; 
but the Holy Ghost. In an hour the whole fabric 
of my spiritual beliefs lay in ruins about me: I be- 
lieved none of it, not a jot, nor a tittle: I felt as 
though I had been stripped naked to the cold. 

Suddenly a joy came to me: if Christianity was 
4ill lies and fairy-tales like Mahometanism, then the 
prohibitions of it were ridiculous and I could kiss and 
have any girl who would yield to me. At once I was 
partially reconciled to my spiritual nakedness: there 
was compensation. 

The loss of my beliefs was for a long time very 
painful to me. One day I told Stackpole of my in- 
fidelity and he recommended me to read "Butler's 
Analogy" and keep an open mind. Butler finished 
what the West Indian had begun and in my thirst for 
some certainty I took up a course of deeper reading. 
In Stackpole's rooms one day I came across a book 
of Huxley's Essays; in an hour I had swallowed them 
and proclaimed myself an "agnostic"; that's what I 
was; I knew nothing surely, but was willing to learn. 

I aged ten years mentally in the next six months: 
I was always foraging for books to convince me and 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 45 

at length got hold of Hume's argument against mi- 
racles. That put an end to all my doubts, satisfied 
me finally. Twelve years later, when studying phil- 
osophy in Goettingen, I saw that Hume's reasoning 
was not conclusive but for the time I was cured. At 
midsummer I refused to be confirmed. For weeks 
before, I had been reading the Bible for the most in- 
credible stories in it and the smut, which I retailed at 
night to the delight of the boys in the big bedroom. 

This year as usual I spent the midsummer holi- 
days in Ireland. My father had made his house with 
my sister Nita wherever Vernon happened to be sent 
by his Bank. This summer was passed in Ballybay in 
County Monaghan, I think. I remember little or 
nothing about the village save that there was a noble 
series of reed-fringed lakes near the place which 
gave good duck and snipe shooting to Vernon in the 
autumn. 

These holidays were memorable to me for several 
incidents. A conversation began one day at din- 
ner between my sister and my eldest brother about 
making up to girls and winning them. I noticed with 
astonishment that my brother Vernon was very de- 
ferential to my sister's opinion on the matter, so I 
immediately got hold of Nita after the lunch and 
asked her to explain to me what she meant by "flat- 
tery". "You said all girls like flattery. What did 
you mean?" 

"I mean", she said, "they all like to be told they 
are pretty, that they have good eyes or good teeth or 
good hair, as the case may be, or that they are tall 
and nicely made. They all like their good points no- 
ticed and praised." 

"Is that all?" I asked. "Oh no!" she said, "they 
all like their dress noticed too and especially their 
hat; if it suits their face, if it's very pretty and so 



46 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

forth ... All girls think that if you notice their 
clothes you really like them, for most men don't." 

"Number two", I said to myself: "is there any- 
thing elsel" 

"Of course", she said, "you must say that the 
girl you are with, is the prettiest girl in the room or 
in the town, in fact is quite unlike any other girl, 
superior to all the rest, the only girl in the world for 
you. All women like to be the only girl in the world 
for as many men as possible." 

"Number three", I said to myself: "Don't they 
like to be kissed?" I asked. 

"That comes afterwards", said my sister, "lots of 
men begin with kissing and pawing you about before 
you even like them. That puts you off. Flattery 
first of looks and dress, then devotion and afterwards 
the kissing comes naturally." 

"Number four!" I went over these four things 
again and again to myself and began trying them 
even on the older girls and women about me and soon 
found that they all had a better opinion of me almost 
immediately. 

I remember practicing my new knowledge first 
on the younger Miss Raleigh whom, I thought, Vernon 
liked. I just praised her as my sister had advised: 
first her eyes and hair (she had very pretty blue eyes). 
To my astonishment she smiled on me at once; accor- 
dingly I went on to say she was the prettiest girl in 
the town and suddenly she took my head in her hands 
and kissed me, saying "You're a dear boy!" 

But my great experience was yet to come. There 
was a very good-looking man whom I met two or 
three times at parties; I think his name was Tom 
Connolly: I'm not certain, though I ought not to 
forget it; for I can see him as plainly as if he were 
before me now: five feet ten or eleven, very handsome 




A 




SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 47 

with shaded violet eyes. Everybody was telling a 
story about him that had taken place on his visit to 
the Viceroy in Dublin. It appeared that the Vicereine 
had a very pretty French maid and Tom Connolly 
made up to the maid. One night the Vicereine was 
taken ill and sent her husband up stairs to call the 
maid. When the husband knocked at the maid's door, 
saying that his wife wanted her, Tom Connolly re- 
plied in a strong voice: 

"It's unfriendly of you to interrupt a man at 
such a time." 

The Viceroy, of course, apologized immediately 
and hurried away, but like a fool he told the story 
to his wife who was very indignant and next day at 
breakfast she put an aide-de-camp on her right and 
Tom Connolly's place far down the table. As usual, 
Connolly came in late and the moment he saw the 
arrangement of the places, he took it all in and went 
o\er to the aide-de-camp. 

"Now, young man", he said, "you'll have many 
opportunities later, so give me my place", and forth- 
with turned him out of his place and took his seat by 
the Vicereine, though she would barely speak to him. 

At length Tom Connolly said to her: "I wouldn't 
have thought it of you, for you're so kind. Fancy 
blaming a poor young girl the first time she yields 
to a man!" 

This response made the whole table roar and esta- 
blished Connolly's fame for impudence throughout 
Ireland. 

Everyone was talking of him and I went about 
after him all through the gardens and whenever he 
spoke, my large ears were cocked to hear any word 
of wisdom that might fall from his lips. At length he 
noticed me and asked me why I followed him about. 



48 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"Everybody says you can win any woman you 
like, Mr. Connolly"; I said half -ashamed : "I want to 
know how you do it, what you say to them." 

"Faith, I don't know", he said, "but you're a 
funny little fellow. What age are you to be asking 
such questions'!" 

"I'm fourteen", I said boldly. 

"I wouldn't have given you fourteen, but even 
fourteen is too young; you must wait." So I with- 
drew but still kept within earshot. 

I heard him laughing with my eldest brother over 
my question and so imagined that I was forgiven, 
and the next day or the day after, finding me as 
assiduous as ever, he said: 

"You know, your question amused me and I 
thought I would try to find an answer to it and here 
is one. When you can put a stiff penis in her hand 
and weep profusely the while, you're getting near any 
woman's heart. But don't forget the tears." I found 
the advice a counsel of perfection; I was unable to 
weep at such a moment; but I never forgot the words. 

There was a large barracks of Irish Constabulary 
in Ballybay and the Sub-Inspector was a handsome 
fellow of fLve feet nine or ten named Walter Raleigh. 
He used to say that he was a descendant of the fam- 
ous courtier of Queen Elizabeth and he pronounced 
his name "Holly" and assured us that his illustrious 
namesake had often spelt it in this way, which showed 
that he must have pronounced it as if written with an 
"o". The reason I mention Raleigh here is that his 
sisters and mine were great friends and he came in 
and out of our house almost as if it were his own. 

Every evening when Vernon and Raleigh had 
nothing better to do, they cleared away the chairs in 
our back parlor, put on boxing gloves and had a set- 
to. My father used to sit in a corner and watch them: 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 49 

Vernon was lighter and smaller; but quicker; still I 
used to think that Raleigh did not put out his full 
strength against him. 

One of the first evenings when Vernon was com- 
plaining that Raleigh hadn't come in or sent, my 
father said: "Why not try, Joel" (my nickname!) 
In a jiffy I had the gloves on and got my first lesson 
from Vernon who taught me at least how to hit 
straight and then how to guard and side-step. I was 
very quick and strong for my size; but for some time 
Vernon hit me very lightly. Soon, however, it became 
difficult for him to hit me at all and then I sometimes 
got a heavy blow that floored me. But with constant 
practice I improved rapidly and after a fortnight or 
so put on the gloves once with Raleigh. His blows 
were very much heavier and staggered me even to 
guard them, so I got accustomed to duck or side-step 
or slip every blow aimed at me while hitting back 
with all my strength. One evening when Vernon and 
Raleigh both had been praising me, I told them of 
Jones and how he bullied me; he had really made my 
life a misery to me: he never met me outside the 
school without striking or kicking me and his favo- 
rite name for me was "bog-trotter!" His attitude, too, 
affected the whole school: I had grown to hate him as 
much as I feared him. 

They both thought I could beat him; but I des- 
cribed him as very strong and finally Raleigh decided 
to send for two pairs of four ounce gloves or fighting 
gloves and use these with me to give me confidence. 
In the first half-hour with the new gloves Vernon did 
not hit me once and I had to acknowledge that he was 
stronger and quicker even than Jones. At the end of 
the holidays they both made me promise to slap 
Jones's face the very first time I saw Mm in the 
school. 

5, 



50 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

On returning to school we always met in the big 
schoolroom. When I entered the room there was 
silence. I was dreadfully excited and frightened, I 
don't know why ; but fully resolved : "he can't kill me", 
I said to myself a thousand times; still I was in a 
trembling funk inwardly though composed enough in 
outward seeming. Jones and two others of the Sixth 
stood in front of the empty fire-place: I went up to 
them: Jones nodded, "How d'ye do, Pat!" 

"Fairly", I said, "but why do you take all the 
room?" and I jostled him aside: he immediately 
pushed me hard and I slapped his face as I had pro- 
mised. The elder boys held him back or the fight 
would have taken place then and there: "will you 
fight V he barked at me and I replied, "as much as 
you like, bully!" It was arranged that the fight 
should take place on the next afternoon, which hap- 
pened to be a Wednesday and half -holiday. From 
three to six would give us time enough. That evening 
Stackpole asked me to his room and told me he would 
get the Doctor to stop the fight if I wished; I assured 
him it had to be and I preferred to have it settled. 

"I'm afraid he's too old and strong for you", said 
Stackpole: I only smiled. 

Next day the ring was made at the top of the 
playing field behind the haystack so that we could not 
be seen from the school. All the Sixth and nearly all 
the school stood behind Jones; but Stackpole, while 
ostensibly strolling about, was always close to me. I 
felt very grateful to him: I don't know why; but his 
presence took away from my loneliness. At first the 
fight was almost like a boxing-match. Jones shot out 
his left hand, my head slipped it and I countered 
with my right in his face: a moment later he rushed 
me but I ducked and side-stepped and hit him hard 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 51 

on the chin. I could feel the astonishment of the 
school in the dead silence: 

"Good, good!" cried Stackpole behind me: "that's 
the way." And indeed it was the "way" of the fight 
in every round except one. We had been hard at it 
for some eight or ten minutes when I felt Jones get- 
ting weaker or losing his breath: at once I went in 
attacking with all my might; when suddenly, as luck 
would have it, I caught a right swing just under the 
left ear and was knocked clean off my feet: he could 
hit hard enough, that was clear. As I went into the 
middle of the ring for the next round Jones jeered 
at me: 

"You got that, didn't ye, Pat!" 

"Yes", I replied, "but I'll beat you black and blue 
for it" and the fight went on. I had made up my 
mind, lying on the ground, to strike only at his face. 
He was short and strong and my body-blows didn't 
seem to make any impression on him; but if I could 
blacken all his face, the masters and especially the 
Doctor would understand what had happened. 

Again and again Jones swung, first with right 
hand and then with his left, hoping to knock me down 
again; but my training had been too varied and com- 
plete and the knock-down blow had taught me the 
necessary caution: I ducked his swings, or side-stepped 
them and hit him right and left in the face till sud- 
denly his nose began to bleed and Stackpole cried out 
behind me in huge excitement: "that's the way, that's 
the way; keep on peppering him!" 

As I turned to smile at him, I found that a lot of 
the fags, former chums of mine, had come round to 
my corner and now were all smiling encouragement 
at me and bold exhortations to "give it him hard". 
I then realized for the first time that I had only to 
keep on and be careful and the victory would be mine. 



52 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

A cold, hard exultation took the place of nervous ex- 
citement in me, and when I struck, I tried to cut with 
my knuckles as Raleigh had once shown me. 

The bleeding of Jones's nose took some time to 
stop and as soon as he came into the middle of the 
ring, I started it again with another righthander. 
After this round, his seconds and backers kept him 
so long in his corner that at length, on Stackpoie's 
whispered advice, I went over and said to him: "Either 
fight or give in: I'm catching cold". He came out at 
once and rushed at me full of fight, but his face was 
all one bruise and his left eye nearly closed. Every 
chance I got, I struck at the right eye till it was in 
an even worse case. 

It is strange to me since that I never once felt 
pity for him and offered to stop : the truth is, he had 
bullied me so relentlessly and continually, had woun- 
ded my pride so often in public that even at the end 
I was filled with cold rage against him. I noticed 
everything: I saw that a couple of the Sixth went 
away towards the schoolhouse and afterwards retur- 
ned with Shaddy, the second master. As they came 
round the haystack, Jones came out into the ring; 
he struck savagely right and left as I came within 
striking distance, but I slipped in outside his weaker 
left and hit him as hard as I could, first right, then 
left on the chin and down he went on his back. 

At once there was a squeal of applause from the 
little fellows in my corner and I saw that Stackpole 
had joined Shaddy near Jones's corner. Suddenly 
Shaddy came right up to the ringside and spoke, to 
my astonishment, with a certain dignity: 

"This fight must stop now", he said loudly, "if 
another blow is struck or word said, I'll report the 
disobedience to the Doctor." Without a word I went 
and put on my coat and waistcoat and collar, while 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 53 

his friends of the Sixth escorted Jones to the school- 
house. 

I had never had so many friends and admirers in 
my life as came up to me then to congratulate me and 
testify to their admiration and goodwill. The whole 
lower school was on my side, it appeared, and had 
been from the outset, and one or two of the Sixth, 
Herbert in especial, came over and praised me 
warmly: "A great fight", said Herbert, "and now 
perhaps we'll have less bullying: at any rate", he 
added humorously, "no one will want to bully you: 
you're a pocket professional: where did you learn 
to box?" 

I had sense enough to smile and keep my own 
counsel. Jones didn't appear in school that night: 
indeed, for days after he was kept in sick-bay up- 
stairs. The fags and lower school boys brought me all 
sorts of stories how the doctor had come and said 
"he feared erysipelas: the bruises were so large and 
Jones must stay in bed and in the dark!" and a host 
of other details. 

One thing was quite clear; my position in the 
school was radically changed: Stackpole spoke to the 
Doctor and I got a seat by myself in his class-room 
and only went to the form-master for special lessons: 
Stackpole became more than ever my teacher and 
friend. 

When Jones first appeared in the school, we met 
in the Sixth room while waiting for the Doctor to 
come in. I was talking with Herbert; Jones came 
in and nodded to me: I went over and held out my 
hand, "I'm glad you're all right again!" He shook 
hands but said nothing. Herbert's nod and smile 
showed me I had done right. "Bygones should be 
bygones", he said in English fashion. I wrote the 
whole story to Vernon that night, thanking him, 



54 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

you may be sure, and Raleigh for the training and 
encouragement they had given me. 

My whole outlook on life was permanently alter- 
ed: I was cock-a-hoop and happy. One night I got 

thinking of E and for the first time in months 

practiced Onanism. But next day I felt heavy and 
resolved that belief or no belief, self-restraint was a 
good thing for the health. All the next Christmas 
holidays spent in Rhyl, I tried to get intimate with 
some girl ; but failed. As soon as I tried to touch even 
their breasts, they drew away. I liked girls fully 
formed and they all thought, I suppose, that I was too 
young and too small: if they had only known! 

One more incident belongs in this thirteenth year, 
and is worthy perhaps of record. Freed of the bullying 
and senseless cruelty of the older boys who for the 
most part, still siding with Jones, left me severely 
alone, the restraints of school life began to irk me, 

"If I were free", I said to myself, "I'd go after E 

or some other girl and have a great time; as it is, I 
can do nothing, hope for nothing." Life was stale, flat 
and unprofitable to me. Besides, I had read nearly 
all the books I thought worth reading in the school 
library, and time hung heavy on my hands: I began 
to long for liberty as a caged bird. 

What was the quickest way out! I knew that 
my father as a Captain in the Navy could give me or 
get me a nomination so that I might become a Mid- 
shipman. Of course I'd have to be examined before 
I was fourteen; but I knew I could win a high place 
in any test. 

The summer vacation after I was thirteen on the 
14th of February I spent at home in Ireland as I have 
told, and from time to time, bothered my father to 
get me the nomination. He promised he would, and 
I took his promise seriously. All the autumn I stu- 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 55 

died carefully the subjects I was to be examined in 
and from time to time wrote to my father reminding 
him of his promise. But he seemed unwilling to 
touch on the matter in his letters which were mostly 
filled with Biblical exhortations, that sickened me 
with contempt for his brainless credulity. My un- 
belief made me feel immeasurably superior to him. 

Christmas came and I wrote him a serious letter, 
insisting that he should keep his promise. For the 
first time in my life I flattered him, saying that I 
knew his word was sacred: but the time-limit was at 
hand and I was getting nervous lest some official 
delay might make me pass the prescribed limit of 
age. I got no reply: I wrote to Vernon who said he 
would do his best with the Governor. The days went 
on, the 14th of February came and went: I was four- 
teen. That way of escape into the wide world was 
closed to me by my father. I raged in hatred of him. 

How was I to get free? Where should I go? 
What should I do? One day in an illustrated paper in 
'68, I read of the discovery of the diamonds in the 
Cape, and then of the opening of the Diamond fields. 
That prospect tempted me and I read all I could about 
South Africa, but one day I found that the cheapest 
passage to the Cape cost fifteen pounds and I despair- 
ed. Shortly afterwards I read that a steerage pas- 
sage to New York could be had for five pounds; that 
amount seemed to me possible to get; for there was 
a prize of ten pounds for books to be given to the 
second in the Mathematical scholarship exam that 
would take place in the summer: I thought I could 
win that, and I set myself to study Mathematics 
harder than ever. 

The result was — but I shall tell the result in its 
proper place. Meanwhile I began reading about 
America and soon learned of the buffalo and Indians 



56 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

on the Great Plains and a myriad entrancing romantic 
pictures opened to my boyish imagining. I wanted 
to see the world and I had grown to dislike England; 
its snobbery, though I had caught the disease, was 
loathsome and worse still, its spirit of sordid self-in- 
terest. The rich boys were favored by all the Masters, 
even by Stackpole; I was disgusted with English life 
as I saw it. Yet there were good elements in it which 
I could not but see, which I shall try to indicate later. 

Towards the middle of this winter term it was 
announced that at Midsummer, besides a scene from 
a play of Plautus to be given in Latin, the trial-scene 
of "The Merchant of Venice" would also be played — 
of course, by boys of the Fifth and Sixth form only, 
and rehearsals immediately began. Naturally I took 
out "The Merchant of Venice" from the school library 
and in one day knew it by heart. I could learn good 
poetry by a single careful reading: bad poetry or 
prose was much harder. 

Nothing in the play appealed to me except 
Shylock and the first time I heard Fawcett of the 
Sixth recite the part, I couldn't help grinning: he 
repeated the most passionate speeches like a lesson 
in a singsong, monotonous voice. For days I went 
about spouting Shylock's defiance and one day, as 
luck would have it, Stackpole heard me. We had 
become great friends : I had done all Algebra with him 
and was now devouring trigonometry, resolved to do 
Conic Sections afterwards, and then the Calculus. 
Already there was only one boy who was my superior 
and he was Captain of the Sixth, Gordon, a big fellow 
of over seventeen, who intended to go to Cambridge 
with the eighty Pound Mathematical Scholarship that 
summer. 

Stackpole told the Head that I would be a good 
Shylock: Fawcett to my amazement didn't want to 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 57 

play the Jew: he found it difficult even to learn the 
part, and finally it was given to me. I was parti- 
cularly elated for I felt sure I could make a great hit. 

One day my sympathy with the bullied got me a 
friend. The Vicar's son Edwards was a nice boy of 
fourteen who had grown rapidly and was not strong. 
A brute of sixteen in the Upper Fifth was twisting 
his arm and hitting him on the writhen muscle and 
Edwards was trying hard not to cry. "Leave him 
alone, Johnson", I said, "why do you bully ?" "You 
ought to have a taste of it", he cried, letting Edwards 
go, however. 

"Don't try it on if you're wise", I retorted. 

"Pat would like us to speak to him", he sneered 
and turned away. I shrugged my shoulders. 

Edwards thanked me warmly for rescuing him 
and I asked him to come for a walk. He accepted and 
our friendship began, a friendship memorable for 
bringing me one novel and wonderful experience. 

The Vicarage was a large house with a good deal 
of ground about it. Edwards had some sisters but 
they were too young to interest me; the French 
governess, on the other hand, Mile. Lucille, was very 
attractive with her black eyes and hair and quick, 
vivacious manner. She was of medium height and not 
more than eighteen. I made up to her at once and 
tried to talk French with her from the beginning. 
She was very kind to me and we got on together at 
once. She was lonely, I suppose, and I began well 
by telling her she was the prettiest girl in the whole 
place and the nicest. She translated nicest, I 
remember, as la plus chic. 

The next half-holiday Edwards went into the 
house for something. I told her I wanted a kiss, and 
she said: 

"You're only a boy, mais gentil", and she kissed 



58 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

me. When my lips dwelt on hers, she took my head in 
her hands, pushed it away and looked at me with 
surprise. 

"You are a strange boy", she said musingly. 

The next holiday I spent at the Vicarage. I gave 
her a little French love-letter I had copied from a 
book in the school library and I was delighted when 
she read it and nodded at me, smiling, and tucked it 
away in her bodice : "near her heart" I said to myself, 
but I had no chance even of a kiss for Edwards 
always hung about. But late one afternoon he was 
called away by his mother for something, and my 
opportunity came. 

We usually sat in a sort of rustic summerhouse 
in the garden. This afternoon Lucille was seated 
leaning back in an armchair right in front of the door, 
for the day was sultry-close, and when Edwards went, 
I threw myself on the doorstep at her feet: her dress 
clung to her form, revealing the outlines of her thighs 
and breasts seductively. I was wild with excitement. 
Suddenly I noticed her legs were apart; I could see 
her slim ankles. Pulses awoke throbbing in my 
forehead and throat: I begged for a kiss and got on 
my knees to take it: she gave me one; but when I 
persisted, she repulsed me, saying: 

"Non, non! sois sage!" 

As I returned to my seat reluctantly, the thought 
came, "put your hand up her clothes"; I felt sure I 
could reach her sex. She was seated on the edge of 
the chair and leaning back. The mere idea shook and 
scared me: but what can she do, I thought: she can 
only get angry. I thought again of all possible 
consequences : the example with E came to en- 
courage and hearten me. I leaned round and knelt in 
front of her smiling, begging for a kiss, and as she 
smiled in return, I put my hand boldly right up her 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 59 

clothes on her sex. I felt the soft hairs and the form 
of it in breathless ecstasy; but I scarcely held it when 
she sprang upright: "how dare you!" she cried 
trying to push my hand away. 

My sensations were too overpowering for words 
or act; my life was in my fingers; I held her cunt. A 
moment later I tried to touch her gently with my 

middle finger as I had touched E : 'twas a 

mistake: I no longer held her sex and at once Lucille 
whirled round and was free. 

"I have a good mind to strike you", she cried; 
'Til tell Mrs. Edwards", she snorted indignantly. 
"You're a bad, bad boy and I thought you nice. I'll 
never be kind to you again: I hate you!" she fairly 
stamped with anger. 

I went to her, my whole being one prayer. "Don't 
please spoil it all", I cried. "You hurt so when you 
are angry, dear". She turned to me hotly: "I'm 
really angry, angry", she panted, "and you're a hateful 
rude boy and I don't like you any more", and she 
turned away again, shaking her dress straight. "Oh, 
how could I help it I" I began, "You're so pretty, oh, 
you are wonderful, Lucille". 

"Wonderful", she repeated, sniffing disdainfully,, 
but I saw she was mollified. 

"Kiss me", I pleaded, "and don't be cross." 

"I'll never kiss you again", she replied quickly, 
"you can be sure of that". I went on begging, 
praising, pleading for ever so long, till at length she 
took my head in her hands, saying: 

"If you'll promise never to do that again, never, 
I'll give you a kiss and try to forgive you". 

"I can't promise", I said, "it was too sweet; but 
kiss me and I'll try to be good". 

She kissed me a quick peck and pushed me away. 

"Didn't you like it?" I whispered, "I did awfully. 



60 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

[ can't tell you how I thrilled: oh, thank you, Lucille, 
thank you, you are the sweetest girl in all the world, 
and I shall always be grateful to you, you dear!" 

She looked down at me musingly, thoughtfully; I 
felt I was gaining ground: 

"You are lovely there", I ventured in a whisper, 
"please, dear, what do you call it? I saw ''chat' once: 
is that right, 'pussy'!" 

"Don't talk of it", she cried impatiently, "I hate 
to think — " 

"Be kind, Lucille", I pleaded, "you'll never be the 
same to me again: you were pretty before, chic and 
provoking, but now you're sacred. I don't love you, 
I adore you, reverence you, darling! May I say 
'pussy' !" 

"You're a strange boy", she said at length, "but 
you must never do that again; it's nasty and I don't 
like it. I — " 

"Don't say such things!" I cried, pretending in- 
dignation, "you don't know what you're saying — 
nasty! Look, I'll kiss the fingers that have touched 
your pussy", and I suited the action to the word. 

"Oh, don't!" she cried and caught my hand in 
hers, "don't!" but somehow she leaned against me at 
the same time and left her lips on mine. Bit by bit 
my right hand went down to her sex again, this time 
on the outside of her dress, but at once she tore her- 
self away and would not let me come near her again. 
My insane desire had again made me blunder! Yet 
she had half -yielded, I knew, and that consciousness 
set me thrilling with triumph and hope, but alas! at 
that moment we heard Edwards shout to us as he 
left the house to rejoin us. 

This experience had two immediate and unlooked 
for consequences: first of all, I could not sleep that 
night for thinking of Lucille's sex; it was like a large 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 61 

fig split in the middle, and set in a mesh of soft hairs: 
I could feel it still on my fingers and my sex stood 
stiff and throbbed with desire for it. 

When I fell asleep I dreamed of Lucille, dreamed 
that she had yielded to me and I was pushing my sex 
into hers ; but there was some obstacle and while I was 
pushing, pushing, my seed spirted in an orgasm of 
pleasure •— and at once I awoke and, putting down 
my hand, found that I was still coming: the sticky, 
hot, milk-like sperm was all over my hairs and prick. 

I got up and washed and returned to bed; the cold 
water had quieted me; but soon by thinking of Lucille 
and her soft, hot, hairy "pussy", I grew randy again 
and in this state fell asleep. Again I dreamed of Lu- 
cille and again I was trying, trying in vain to get 
into her when again the spasm of pleasure overtook 
me; I felt my seed spirting hot and — I awoke. 

But lo! when I put my hand down, there was no 
seed, only a little moisture just at the head of my sex 
— nothing more. Did it mean that I could only 
give forth seed once? I tested myself at once: while 
picturing Lucille's sex, its soft hot roundnesses and 
hairs, I caressed my sex, moving my hand faster up 
and down till soon I brought on the orgasm of pleas- 
ure and felt distinctly the hot thrills as if my seed 
were spirting, but nothing came, hardly even the 
moisture. 

Next morning I tested myself at the high jump 
and found I couldn't clear the bar at an inch lower 
than usual. I didn't know what to do: why had I 
indulged so foolishly? 

But next night the dream of Lucille came back 
again, and again I awoke after an acute spasm of 
pleasure, all wet with my own seed. What was I to 
do? I got up and washed and put cold water in a 
sponge on my testicles and sex and all chilled crawled 



62 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

back into bed. But imagination was master. Time 
and again the dream came and awakened me. In the 
morning I felt exhausted, washed-out and needed no 
test to assure me that I was physically below par. 

That same afternoon I picked up by chance a little 
piece of whipcord and at once it occurred to me that 
if I tied this hard cord round my penis, as soon as 
the organ began to swell and stiffen in excitement, 
the cord would grow tight and awake me with the 
pain. 

That night I tied up Tommy and gave myself up 
to thoughts of Lucille's private parts: as soon as my 
sex stood and grew stiff, the whipcord hurt dreadfully 
and I had to apply cold water at once to reduce my 
unruly member to ordinary proportions. I returned 
to bed and went to sleep: I had a short sweet dream 
of Lucille's beauties but then awoke in agony. I got 
up quickly and sat on the cold marble slab of the 
washing-stand. That acted more speedily than even 
the cold water; whyl I didn't learn the reason for 
many a year. 

The cord was effective, did all I wanted: after 
this experience I wore it regularly and within a week 
was again able to walk under the bar and afterwards 
jump it, able too to pull myself up with one hand till 
my chin was above the bar. I had conquered temp- 
tation and once more was captain of my body. 

The second unsuspected experience was also a 
direct result, I believe, of my sex-awakening with Lu- 
cille and the intense sex-excitement. At all events it 
came just after the love-passages with her that I have 
described and post hoc is often propter hoc. 

I had never yet noticed the beauties of nature; 
indeed whenever I came across descriptions of sce- 
nery in my reading, I always skipped them as weari- 
some. Now of a sudden, in a moment, my eyes were 







/ 






SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 63 

unsealed to natural beauties. I remember the scene 
and my rapt wonder as if it were yesterday. It was a 
bridge across the Dee near Overton in full sunshine; 
on my right the river made a long curve, swirling deep 
under a wooded height, leaving a little tawny sand- 
bank half bare just opposite to me: on my left both 
banks, thickly wooded, drew together and passed 
round a curve out of sight. I was entranced and 
speechless — enchanted by the sheer color-beauty of 
the scene — sunlit water there and shadowed here, 
reflecting the gorgeous vesture of the wooded height. 
And when I left the place and came out again and 
looked at the adjoining cornfields, golden against the 
green of the hedgerows and scattered trees, the colors 
took on a charm I had never noticed before: I could 
not understand what had happened to me. 

It was the awakening of sex-life in me, I believe, 
that first revealed to me the beauty of inanimate 
nature. 

A night or two later I was ravished by a moon 
nearly at the full that flooded our playing field with 
ivory radiance, making the haystack in the corner a 
thing of supernal beauty. 

Why had I never before seen the wonder of the 
world? the sheer loveliness of nature all about mel 
From this time on I began to enjoy descriptions of 
scenery in the books I read and began, too, to love 
landscapes in painting. 

Thank goodness! the miracle was accomplished, 
at long last, and my life enriched, ennobled, trans- 
figured as by the bounty of a God! From that day 
on I began to live an enchanted life; for at once I 
tried to see beauty everywhere, and at all times, of 
day and night caught glimpses that ravished me with 
delight and turned my being into a hymn of praise 
and joy. 



64 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Faith had left me and with faith, hope in Heaven 
or indeed in any future existence: saddened and fear- 
ful, I was as one in prison with an undetermined sen- 
tence; but now in a moment the prison had become a 
paradise, the walls of the actual had fallen away into 
frames of entrancing pictures. Dimly I became con- 
scious that if this life were sordid and mean, petty 
and unpleasant, the fault was in myself and in my 
blindness. I began then for the first time to under- 
stand that I myself was a magician and could create 
my own fairyland, ay and my own heaven, trans- 
forming this world into the throne-room of a god! 

This joy, and this belief I want to impart to 
others more than almost anything else, for this has 
been to me a new Gospel of courage and resolve and 
certain reward, a man's creed teaching that as you 
grow in wisdom and courage and kindness, all good 
things are added unto you. 

I find that I am outrunning my story and giving 
here a stage of thought and belief that only became 
mine much later; but the beginning of my individual 
soul-life was this experience, that I had been blind to 
natural beauty and now could see; this was the root 
and germ, so to speak, of the later faith that guided all 
my mature life, filling me with courage and spilling 
over into hope and joy ineffable. 

Very soon the first command of it came to my 
lips almost every hour: "Blame your own blindness! 
always blame yourself!" 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERICA. 

Chapter IV. 

parly in January there was a dress rehearsal of 
^ the Trial Scene of "The Merchant of Venice". 
The Grandee of the neighborhood who owned the 
great park, Sir W. W. W., some M. P.'s, notably a 
Mr. Whalley who had a pretty daughter and lived in 
the vicinity, and the Vicar and his family were invit- 
ed, and others whom I did not know; but with the 
party from the Vicarage came Lucille. 

The big schoolroom had been arranged as a sort 
of theatre and the estrade at one end where the Head- 
Master used to throne it on official occasions, was 
converted into a makeshift stage and draped by a big 
curtain that could be drawn back or forth at will. 

The Portia was a very handsome lad of sixteen 
named Herbert, gentle and kindly, yet redeemed from 
effeminacy by the fact that he was the fleetest sprin- 
ter in the school and could do the hundred yards in 
eleven and a half seconds. The "Duke" was, of course, 
J ones and the merchant "Antonio" a big fellow named 
Vernon, and I had got Edwards the part of "Bassanio" 
and a pretty boy in the Fourth Form was taken 
as "Nerissa". So far as looks went the cast was pas- 
sable; but the "Duke" recited his lines as if they had 



66 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

been imperfectly learned and so the "Trial Scene" 
opened badly. But the part of "Shylock" suited me 
intimately and I had learned how to recite. Now be- 
fore E and Lucille, I was set on doing better than 

my best. When my cue came I bowed low before the 
"Duke" and then bowed again to left and right of him 
in silence and formally, as if I, the outcast Jew, 
were saluting the whole court; then in a voice that at 
first I simply made slow and clear and hard, I began 
the famous reply: 
"I have possessed your Grace of what I purpose; 
And by our Holy Sabbath have I sworn 
To have the due and forfeit of my bond." 

I don't except to be believed; but nevertheless I 
am telling the bare truth when I say that in my im- 
personation of "Shylock" I brought in the very piece 
of "business" that made Henry Irving's "Shylock" 
fifteen years later, "ever memorable", according to the 
papers. 

When at the end, baffled and beaten, Shylock 
gives in: 

"I pray you, give me leave to go from hence, 
I am not well: send the deed after me, 
And I will sign it", 
the Duke says, "Get thee gone, but do it", and Gra- 
tiano insults the Jew — the only occasion, I think, 
when Shakespeare allows the beaten to be insulted 
by a gentleman. 

On my way to the door as Shylock, I stopped, 
bent low before the Duke's dismissal; but at Gra- 
tiano's insult, I turned slowly round, while drawing 
myself up to my full height and scanning him from 
head to foot. 

Irving used to return all across the stage and 
folding his arms on his breast look down on him with 
measureless contempt. 



SCHOOL DAYS IN ENGLAND. 67 

When fifteen years later Irving, at the Garrick 
Club one night after supper, asked me what I thought 
of this new "business"; I replied that if Shylock had 
done what he did, Gratiano would probably have spat 
in his face and then kicked him off the stage. Shylock 
complains that the Christians spat upon his gaberdine. 

My boyish, romantic reading of the part, however, 
was essentially the same as Irving's, and Irving's rea- 
ding was cheered in London to the echo because it 
was a rehabilitation of the Jew, and the Jew rules 
the roost to day in all the cities of Europe. 

At my first words I could feel the younger mem- 
bers of the audience look about as if to see if such 
reciting as mine was proper and permitted; then one 
after the other gave in to the flow and flood of passion. 
When I had finished everyone cheered, Whalley and 
Lady W . . . enthusiastically, and to my delight, Lu- 
cille as well. 

After the rehearsal, everyone crowded about me: 
"Where did you learn?" "Who taught youf" At 
length Lucille came. "I knew you were someone", 
she said in her pretty way, "quelqu'un", "but it was 
extraordinary! You'll be a great actor, I'm sure." 

"And yet you deny me a kiss", I whispered, 
taking care no one should hear. 

"I deny you nothing", she replied, turning away, 
leaving me transfixed with hope and assurance of 
delight. "Nothing", I said to myself, "nothing means 
everything"; a thousand times I said it over to myself 
in an ecstasy. 

That was my first happy night in England. Mr. 
Whalley congratulated me and introduced me to his 
daughter who praised me enthusiastically, and best 
of all the Doctor said, "We must make you Stage 
Manager, Harris, and I hope you'll put some of your 
fire into the other actors." 



68 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

To my astonishment my triumph did me harm 
with the boys. Some sneered, while all agreed that 
I did it to show off. Jones and the Sixth began the 
boycott again. I didn't mind much, for I had heavier 
disappointments and dearer hopes. 

The worst was I found it difficult to see Lucille 
in the bad weather; indeed I hardly caught a glimpse 
of her the whole winter. Edwards asked me fre- 
quently to the Vicarage; she might have made half a 
dozen meetings but she would not, and I was sick at 
heart with disappointment and the regret of unful- 
filled desire. It was March or April before I was 
alone with her in her schoolroom at the Vicarage. 
I was too cross with her to be more than polite. 
Suddenly she said, "Vous me boudez". I shrugged 
my shoulders. 

'You don't like me", I began, "so what's the use 
of my caring." 

"I like you a great deal", she said, "but — " 

"No, no", I said, shaking my head, "if you liked 
me, you wouldn't avoid me and — " 

"Perhaps it's because I like you too much — " 

"Then you'd make me happy", I broke in. 

"Happy", she repeated, "How can If 

"By letting me kiss you, and — " 

"Yes, and — " she repeated significantly. 

"What harm does it do youf" I asked. 

"What harm", she repeated, "Don't you know 
it's wrong? One should only do that with one's hus- 
band; you know that." 

"I don't know anything of the sort", I cried, 
"That's all silly. We don't believe that to-day." 

"I believe it", she said gravely. 

"But if you didn't, you'd let me", I cried, "say 
that, Lucille, that would be almost as good, for it 
would show you liked me a little." 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERICA. 69 

"You know I like you a great deal", she replied. 

"Kiss me then", I said, "there's no harm in that", 
and when she kissed me I put my hand over her 
breasts; they thrilled me they were so elastic-firm, 
and in a moment my hand slid down her body, but 
she drew away at once quietly but with resolve. 

"No, no", she said, half smiling. 

"Please!" I begged. 

"I can't", she said, shaking her head, "I mustn't. 
Let us talk of other things — How is the play getting 
on?" But I could not talk of the play as she stood 
there before me. For the first time I divined 
through her clothes nearly all the beauties of 
her form. The bold curves of hip and breast tantal- 
ized me and her face was expressive and defiant. 

How was it I had never noticed all the details 
before 1 Had I been blind? or did Lucille dress to 
show off her figure? Certainly her dresses were ar- 
ranged to display the form more than English dresses, 
but I too had become more curious, more observant. 
Would life go on showing me new beauties I had not 
even imagined! 

My experience with E . . . . and Lucille made the 
routine of school life almost intolerable to me. I 
could only force myself to study by reminding myself 
of the necessity of winning the second prize in the 
Mathematical Scholarship, which would give me ten 
pounds, and ten pounds would take me to America. 

Soon after the Christmas holidays I had taken 
the decisive step. The examination in winter was 
not nearly so important as the one that ended the 
summer term, but it had been epoch-making to me. 
My punishments having compelled me to learn two 
or three books of Vergil by heart and whole chapters 
of Caesar and Livy, I had come to some knowledge 
of Latin: in the examination I had beaten not only 



70 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

all my class, but thanks to trigonometry and Latin 
and history, all the two next classes as well. As soon 
as the school reassembled I was put in the Upper 
Fifth. All the boys were from two to three years 
older than I was, and they all made cutting remarks 
about me to each other and avoided speaking to 
"Pat". All this strengthened my resolution to get 
to America as soon as I could. 

Meanwhile I worked as I had never worked: at 
Latin and Greek as well as Mathematics; but chiefly 
at Greek, for there I was backward: by Easter I had 
mastered the grammar — irregular verbs and all — and 
was about the first in the class. My mind, too, through 
my religious doubts and gropings and through the 
reading of the thinkers had grown astonishingly: 
one morning I construed a piece of Latin that had 
puzzled the best in the class and the Doctor nodded 
at me approvingly. Then came the step I spoke of 
as decisive. 

The morning prayers were hardly over one bitter 
morning when the Doctor rose and gave out the terms 
of the scholarship Exam at Midsummer; the winner 
to get eighty pounds a year for three years at Cam- 
bridge, and the second ten pounds with which to buy 
books. "All boys", he added, "who wish to go in for 
this scholarship will now stand up and give their 
names." I thought only Gordon would stand up, but 
when I saw Johnson get up and Fawcett and two 

or three others I too got up A sort of derisive 

growl went through the school; but Stackpole smiled 
at me and nodded his head as much as to say, "they'll 
see", and I took heart of grace and gave my name 
very distinctly. Somehow I felt that the step was 
decisive. 

I liked Stackpole and this term he encouraged 
me to come to his rooms to talk whenever I felt in- 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERICA. 71 

clined, and as I had made up my mind to use all the 
half-holidays for study, this association did me a lot 
of good and his help was invaluable. 

One day when he had just come into his room, 
I shot a question at him and he stopped, came over 
to me and put his arm on my shoulder as he answered. 
I don't know how I knew; but by some instinct I felt 
a caress in the apparently innocent action. I didn't 
like to draw away or show him that I objected; but I 
buried myself feverishly in the Trigonometry and he 
soon moved away. 

When I thought of it afterwards, I recalled the 
fact that his marked liking for me began after my 
fight with Jones. I had often been on the point of 
confessing to him my love-passages; but now I was 
glad I had kept them strenuously to myself, for day 
by day I noticed that his liking for me grew or 
rather his compliments and flatteries increased. I 
hardly knew what to do : working with him and in his 
room was a godsend to me; yet at the same time I 
didn't like him much or admire him really. 

In some ways he was curiously dense; he spoke 
of the school life as the happiest of all and the health- 
iest; a good moral tone here, he would say, no lying, 
cheating or scandal, much better than life outside. I 
used to find it difficult not to laugh in his face. 
Moral tone indeed! when the Doctor came down out of 
temper, it was usually accepted among the boys that 
he had had his wife in the night and was therefore 
a little below par physically. 

Though a really good mathematical scholar and 
a firstrate teacher, patient and painstaking, with a 
gift of clear exposition, Stackpole seemed to me stu- 
pid and hidebound and I soon found that by laughing 
at his compliments I could balk his desire to lavish on 
me his unwelcome caresses. 



72 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Once he kissed me, but my amused smile made 
him blush while he muttered shamefacedly, "You're a 
queer lad!" At the same time I knew quite well that 
if I encouraged him, he would take further liberties. 

One day he talked of Jones and Henry H . . . . 
He had evidently heard something of what had taken 
place in our bedroom; but I pretended not to know 
what he meant and when he asked me whether none 
of the big boys had made up to me, I ignored big 
Fawcett's smutty excursions and said "No" adding 
that I was interested in girls and not in dirty boys. 
For some reason or other Stackpole seemed to me 
younger than I was and not twelve years older, and 
I had no real difficulty in keeping him within the 
bounds of propriety till the Math Exam. 

I was asked once whether I thought that 
"Shaddy", as we called the House-master, had ever 
had a woman. The idea of "Shaddy" as a virgin 
filled us with laughter; but when one spoke of him 
as a lover, it was funnier still. He was a man about 
forty, tall and fairly strong: he had a degree from 
some college in Manchester, but to us little snobs he 
was a bounder because he had not been to either 
Oxford or Cambridge. He was fairly capable, however. 

But for some reason or other he had a down on 
me and I grew to hate him, and was always thinking 
of how I might hurt him. My new habit of forcing 
myself to watch and observe everything came to my 
aid. There were five or six polished oak-steps up to 
the big bedroom where fourteen of us slept. "Shaddy" 
used to give us half an hour to get into bed and then 
would come up, and standing just inside the door 
under the gas-light would ask us, "Have you all said 
your prayers'?" We all answered: "Yes, sir", then 
would come his "Goodnight, boys", and our stereo- 
typed reply: "Good night, Sir." 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERICA. 73 

He would then turn out the light and go down- 
stairs to his room. The oak-steps outside were worn 
in the middle and I had noticed that as one goes 
downstairs one treads on the very edge of each step. 

One day "Shaddy" had maddened me by giving 
me one hundred lines of Vergil to learn by heart for 
some trifling peccadillo. That night, having provided 
myself with a cake of brown Windsor soap, I ran 
upstairs before the other boys and rubbed the soap 
freely on the edge of the two top steps, and then went 
on to undress. 

When "Shaddy" put out the light and stepped 
down to the second step, there was a slip and then a 
great thud as he half slid, half fell to the bottom. In 
a moment, for my bed was nearest the door, I had 
sprung up, opened the door and made incoherent ex- 
clamations of sympathy as I helped him to get up. 

"I've hurt my hip", he said, putting his hand on 
it. He couldn't account for his fall. 

Grinning to myself as I went back, I rubbed the 
soap off the top step with my handkerchief and got 
into bed again, where I chuckled over the success of 
my stratagem. He had only got what he richly de- 
served, I said to myself. 

At length the long term wore to its end; the 
Exam was held and after consulting Stackpole I was 
very sure of the second prize. "I believe", he said 
one day, "that you'd rather have the second prize 
than the first." "Indeed I would", I replied without 
thinking. 

"Why?" he asked, "why?" I only just restrained 
myself in time or I'd have given him the true reason. 
"You'll come much nearer winning the Scholarship", 
he said at length, "than any of them guesses." 

After the "Exams" came the athletic games, much 
more interesting than the beastly lessons. I won two* 



74 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Tssprf 

first prizes and Jones four, but I gained fifteen "se- 
conds", a record, I believe, for according to my age 
I was still in the Lower School. 

I was fully aware of the secret of my success 
and strange to say, it did not increase but rather 
diminished my conceit. I won, not through natural 
advantages but by will-power and practice. I should 
have been much prouder had I succeeded through 
natural gifts. For instance, there was a boy named 
Reggie Miller, who at sixteen was five feet ten in 
height, while I was still under five feet: do what I 
would, he could jump higher than I could, though 
he only jumped up to his chin while I could jump 
the bar above my head. I believed that Reggie could 
easily practice and then outjump me still more. I 
had yet to learn in life that the resolved will to suc- 
ceed was more than any natural advantage. But this 
lesson only came to me later. From the beginning I 
was taking the highway to success in everything by 
strengthening my will even more than my body. Thus, 
every handicap in natural deficiency turns out to be 
an advantage in life to the brave soul, whereas every 
natural gift is surely a handicap. Demosthenes had a 
difficulty in his speech, practising to overcome this, 
made him the greatest of orators. 

The last day came at length and at eleven o'clock 
all the school and a goodly company of guests and 
friends gathered in the school-room to hear the results 
of the examinations and especially the award of the 
scholarships. Though most of the boys were early 
at the great blackboard where the official figures were 
displayed, I didn't even go near it till one little boy 
told me shyly: "You're head of your Form and sure 
of your remove". 

I found this to be true, but wasn't even elated. A 
Cambridge professor, it appeared, had come down in 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERICA. 75 

person to announce the result of the "Math" Scholar- 
ship. 

He made a rather long talk, telling us that the 
difficulty of deciding had been unusually great, for 
there was practical equality between two boys: indeed 
he might have awarded the scholarship to No. 9 (my 
number) and not to No. 1, on the sheer merit of the 
work, but when he found that the one boy was under 
fifteen while the other was eighteen and ready for 
the University, he felt it only right to take the view 
of the Head-Master and give the Scholarship to the 
older boy, for the younger one was very sure to 
win it next year and even next year he would still be 
too young for University life. He therefore gave the 
Scholarship to Gordon and the second prize of ten 
pounds to Harris. Gordon stood up and bowed his 
thanks while the whole school cheered and cheered 
again: then the Examiner called on me. I had taken 
in the whole situation. I wanted to get away with all 
the money I could and as soon as I could. My cue was 
to make myself unpleasant: accordingly, I got up and 
thanked the Examiner, saying that I had no doubt of 
his wish to be fair, "but", I added, "had I known the 
issue was to be determined by age, I should not have 
entered. Now I can only say that I will never enter 
again", and I sat down. 

The sensation caused by my little speech was a 
thousand times greater than I had expected. There 
was a breathless silence and mute expectancy. The 
Cambridge Professor turned to the Head of the school 
and talked with him very earnestly, with visible 
annoyance, indeed, and then rose again. 

"I must say", he began, "I have to say", repeating 
himself, "that I feel the greatest sympathy with 
Harris. I was never in so embarrassing a position. I r 
I must leave the whole responsibility with the Head- 



76 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Master. I can't do anything else, unfortunately!'' and 
he sat down, evidently annoyed. 

The Doctor got up and made a long hypocritical 
speech: It was one of those difficult decisions one 
is forced sometimes to make in life: he was sure that 
everyone would agree that he had tried to act fairly, 
and so far as he could make it up to the younger boy, 
he certainly would: he hoped next year to award him 
the Scholarship with as good a heart as he now gave 
him his cheque; and he fluttered it in the air. 

The Masters all called me and I went up to the 
platform and accepted the cheque, smiling with 
delight, and when the Cambridge Professor shook 
hands with me and would have further excused him- 
self, I whispered shyly, "it's all right, Sir, I'm glad 
that you decided as you did". He laughed aloud with 
pleasure, put his arm round my shoulder and said: 

"I'm obliged to you, you're certainly a good loser, 
or winner perhaps I ought to have said, and altogether 
a remarkable boy. Are you really under sixteen?" I 
nodded smiling, and the rest of the prize-giving went 
off without further incident, save that when I 
appeared on the platform to get the Form prize of 
books, he smiled pleasantly at me and led the cheering. 
I 've described the whole incident, for it illustrates 
to me the English desire to be fair: it is really a guiding 
impulse in them, on which one may reckon, and so far 
as my experience goes, it is perhaps stronger in them 
than in any other race. If it were not for their 
religious hypocrisies, childish conventions and above 
all, their incredible snobbishness, their love of fair 
play alone would make them the worthiest leaders 
•of humanity. All this I felt then as a boy as clearly 
.as I see it to day. 

I knew that the way of my desire was open to me. 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERICA. 77 

Next morning I asked to see the Head; be was very 
amiable; but I pretended to be injured and 
disappointed. "My father", I said, "reckons, I think, 
on my success and I'd like to see him before he hears 
the bad news from anyone else. Would you please 
give me the money for my journey and let me go to- 
day*? It isn't very pleasant for me to be here now." 

"I'm sorry", said the Doctor (and I think he was 
sorry), "of course I'll do anything I can to lighten 
your disappointment. It's very unfortunate but you 

must not be down-hearted: Professor S says that 

your papers ensure your success next year, and I — 
well, I'll do anything in my power to help you." 

I bowed: "Thank you, Sir. Could I go today! 
There's a train to Liverpool at noon?" 

"Certainly, certainly, if you wish it", he said, 
"I'll give orders immediately" and he cashed the 
cheque for ten pounds as well, with only a word that 
it was nominally to be used to buy books with, but he 
supposed it did not matter seriously. 

By noon I was in the train for Liverpool with 
fifteen pounds in my pocket, five pounds being for 
my fare to Ireland. I was trembling with excitement 
and delight; at length I was going to enter the real 
world and live as I wished to live. I had no regrets, 
no sorrows, I was filled with lively hopes and happy 
presentiments. 

As soon as I got to Liverpool, I drove to the 
Adelphi Hotel and looked out the steamers and soon 
found one that charged only four pounds for a steer- 
age passage to New York, and to my delight this 
steamer was starting next day about two o' clock. By 
four o' clock I had booked my passage and paid for 
it. The Clerk said something or other about bedding; 
but I paid no attention. For just on entering his 
office I had seen an advertisement of "The Two 



78 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Roses", a "romantic drama" to be played that night, 
and I was determined to get a seat and see it. Do 
you know what courage that act required? More than 
was needed to cut loose from everyone I loved and 
go to America. For my father was a Puritan of the 
Puritans and had often spoken of the theatre as the 
"open door to Hell". 

I had lost all belief in Hell or Heaven, but a cold 
shiver went through me as I bought my ticket and 
time and again in the next four hours I was on the 
point of forfeiting it without seeing the play. What 
if my father was right? I couldn't help the fear that 
came over me like a vapour. 

I was in my seat as the curtain rose and sat for 
three hours enraptured; it was just a romantic love- 
story but the heroine was lovely and affectionate and 
true and I was in love with her at first sight. When 
the play was over T went into the street, resolved to 
keep myself pure for some girl like the heroine: no 
moral lesson I have received before or since can 
compare with that given me by that first night in 
a theatre. The effect lasted for many a month and 
made self-abuse practically impossible to me ever 
afterwards. The preachers may digest this fact at 
their leisure. 

The next morning I had a good breakfast at the 
Adelphi Hotel and before ten was on board the 
steamer, had stowed away my trunk and taken my 
station by my sleeping place traced in chalk on the 
deck. About noon the Doctor came round, a yonng 
man of good height with a nonchalant manner, red- 
dish hair, roman nose and easy, unconventional w.iys 

"Whose is this berth?" he asked, pointing to mine. 

"Mine, Sir" I replied. 

'Tell your father or mother", he said curtly, "that 



<<m. 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERICA. 79 

you must have a mattress like this", and he pointed to 
one, "and two blankets", he added. 

"Thank you, Sir", I said and shrugged my 
shoulders at his interference. In another hour he 
eame round again. 

"Why is there no mattress here and no blanket!" 
he asked. 

"Because I don't need 'em", I replied. 

"You must have them", he barked, "it's the rule, 
d'ye understand f and he hurried on with his in- 
spection. In half an hour he was back again. 

"You haven't the mattress yet", he snarled. 

"I don't want a mattress", I replied. 

"Where's your father or mother", he asked. 

"Haven't got any", I retorted. 

"Do they let children like you go to .America" he 
•fried, "What age are you?" 

I was furious with him for exposing my youth 
there in public before everyone. "How does it matter 
to youf 1 I asked disdainfully. "You're not responsible 
for me, thank God!" 

"I am though", he said, "to a certain degree at 
least. Are you really going t© America on your 
own!" 

"I am", I rejoined casually and rudely. 

"What to do!" was his next query. 

"Anything I can get" I replied. 

"Hum", he muttered, "I must see to this". 

Ten minutes later he returned again. "Come 
with me", he said, and I followed him to his cabin — 
a comfortable stateroom with a good berth on the right 
of the door as you entered, and a good sofa opposite. 

"Are you really alone f he asked. 

I nodded, for I was a little afraid he might have 
the power to forbid me to go and I resolved to say 
as little as possible. 

7 



80 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"What age are you?" was his next question. 

"Sixteen", I lied boldly. 

"Sixteen!", he repeated, "you don't look it but yon 
speak as if you had been well educated". I smiled; 
I had already measured the crass ignorance of the 
"peasants in the steerage. 

"Have you any friends in America!" he asked. 

"What do you want to question me for?" I 
demanded, "I've paid for my passage and I'm doing 
no harm". 

"I want to help y;u", ne said, "will you stay 
here until we draw out and I get a little timet" 

"Certainly", I said, "I'd rather be here than with 
those louts and if I might read your books — " 

I had noticed that there were two little oak book- 
cases, one on eaoh side of the washing-stand, and 
smaller books and pictures scattered about. 

"Of course you may", he rejoined and threw open 
the door of the bookcase. There was a Macau lay 
staring at me. 

"I know his poetry", I said, seeing that the book 
contained his "Essays" and was written in prose. 
"I'd like to read this". 

"Go ahead", he said smiling, "in a couple of hours 
I'll be back'" When he returned he found me curled 
upon his sofa, lost in fairyland. I had just come to 
the end of the essay on Olive and was breathless. 
"You like it?" he asked. "I should just think I did", 
I replied, "it's better even than his poetry", and 
suddenly I closed the book and began to recite: 

"With all his faults, and they were neither few 
nor small, only one cemetery was" worthy to contain 
his remains. In the Great Abbey — " 

The Doctor took the book from me where I 
held it. 

"Are you reciting from Olive?" he asked. 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERICA. 81 

"Yes", I said, "but the essay on Warren Hastings 
its just as good", and I began again: 

"He looked like a great man, and not like a bad 
one. A person small and emaciated, yet deriving 
dignity from a carriage which, while it indicated 
deference to the Court, indicated also habitual self- 
possession and self-respect. A high and intellectual 
forehead; a brow pensive but not gloomy, a mouth 
of inflexible decision, a face on which was written as 
legibly as under the great picture in the Council 
Chamber of Calcutta, Mens aequo, in arduis: such w:< 
the aspect with which the great proconsul presented 
himself to his judges." 

"Have you learned all this by heart!" cried the 
Doctor laughing. 

"I don't have to learn stuff like that", I replie ; . 
"one reading is enough". 
He stared at me. 

"I was surely right in bringing you down here", 
he began, "I wanted to get you a bertli in the Inter- 
mediate; but there's no room: if you could put up with 
that sofa, I'd have the steward make up a bed for 
you on it". 

"Oh, would you!" I cried, "how kind of you, ar.d 
you'll let me read your books ?" "Everyone of 'em", he 
replied, adding, "I only wish I could make as good 
use of them". 

The upshot of it was that in an hour he had drawn 
some of my story from me and we were great friends. 
His name was Keogh. "Of course he's Irish", I said 
to myself, as I w T ent to sleep that night: "no one else 
would have been so kind". 

The ordinary man will think I am bragging here 
about my memory. He's mistaken. Swinburne's 
memory especially for poetry was far, far better than 
mine, and I have always regretted the fact that a good 



82 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

memory often prevents one thinking for oneself. I 
shall come back to this belief of mine when I later 
explain how want of books gave me whatever 
originality I possess. A good memory and books at 
command are two of the greatest dangers of youth 
and form by themselves a terrible handicap, but 
like all gifts a good memory is apt to make yon 
friends among the unthinking, especially when you 
are very young. 

As a matter of fact, Doctor Keogh went about 
bragging of my memory and power of reciting, until 
some of the Cabin passengers became interested in the 
extraordinary schoolboy. The outcome was that I was 
asked to recite one evening in the First Cabin and 
afterwards a collection was taken up for me and a 
iirst-class passage paid and about twenty dollars over 
and above was given to me. Besides, an old gentleman 
offered to adopt me and play second father to me. 
but I had not got rid of one father to take on another. 
so I kept as far away from him as I decently could. 

1 am again, however, running ahead of my story. 
The second evening of the voyage, the sea got up a 
little and there was a great deal of sickness. Doctor 
Keogh was called out of his cabin and while he was 
away, someone knocked at the door. T opened it and 
found a pretty girl. 

"Where's the Doctor?" she asked. I told her he 
had been called to a cabin passenger. 

"Please tell him", she said, "when he returns, that 
Jessie Kerr, the chief Engineer's daughter, would like 
to see him". 

"I'll go after him now if you wish, Miss Jessie". 
I said. "I know where he is". 

"It isn't important", she rejoined, "but I feel 
giddy and he told me he could cure it". 

! Coming up on deck is the best cure". 1 declared : 



t(n. 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERICA. S3 

"the fresh air will soon blow the sick feeling away. 
You'll sleep like a top and tomorrow morning you'll 
he alright. Will you come? ,? She consented readily 
and in ten minutes admitted that the slight nausea had 
disappeared in the sharp breeze. As we walked up 
and down the dimly lighted deck I had now and then 
to support her, for the ship was rolling a little under 
a sou-wester. Jessie told me something about herself; 
how she was going to New York to spend some months 
with an elder married sister and how strict her father 
was. In return she had my whole story and could 
hardly believe I was only sixteen. Why she was over 
sixteen, and she could never have stood up and recited 
piece after piece as T did in the Cabin: she thought 
it "wonderful". 

Before she went down, I told her she was the 
prettiest girl on board and she kissed me and promised 
to come up the next evening and have another walk. 
'If you've nothing better to do 1 ' she said at parting, 
"you might come forward to the little Promenade Deck 
of the Second Cabin and I'll get one of the men to 
arrange a seat in one of the boats for us". "Of 
course", I promised gladly and spent the next after- 
noon with Jessie in the stern-sheets of the great 
launch where we were out of sight of everyone, and 
out of hearing as well. 

There we were, tucked in with two rugs and 
cradled, so to speak, between sea and sky, while the 
keen air whistling past increased our sense of solitude. 
Jessie, though rather short, was a very pretty girl 
with large hazel eyes and fair complexion. 

1 soon got my arm round her and kept kissing 
her till she told me she had never known a man so 
greedy of kisses as 1 was. It was delicious flattery 
to me to speak of me as a man and in return I raved 
about her eyes and mouth and form; caressing her 



84 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

left breast I told her I could divine the rest and knew 
she had a lovely body. But when I put my hand up 
her clothes, she stopped me when I got just above her 
knee and said: 

"We'd have to be engaged before I could let you 
do that. Do you really love mef 

Of course I swore I did, but when she said she'd 
have to tell her father that we were engaged to be 
married, cold shivers went down my back. 

"I can't marry for a long time yet", I said, "I'll 
have to make a living first and I'm not very sure 
where I'll begin". But she had heard that an old 
man wished to adopt me and everyone said that he 
was very rich, and even her father admitted that I'd 
be "well fixed". 

Meanwhile my right hand was busy: I had got 
my fingers to her warm flesh between the stockings 
and the drawers and was wild with desire; soon mouth 
on mouth I touched her sex. 

What a gorgeous afternoon we had! I had learned 
enough now to go slow and obey what seemed to be 
her moods. Gently, gently I caressed her sex with 
my finger till it opened and she leaned against me 
and kissed me of her own will, while her eyes turned 
up and her whole being was lost in thrills of ecstasy. 
When she asked me to stop and take my hand away, 
I did her bidding at once and was rewarded by being- 
told that I was a "dear boy" and "a sweet" and soon 
the embracing and caressing began again. She moved 
now in response to my lascivious touchings and when 
the ecstasy came on her, she clasped me close and 
kissed me passionately with hot lips and afterwards 
in my arms wept a little and then pouted that she 
was cross with me for being so naughty. But her 
eyes gave themselves to me even while she tried to 
scold. 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERICA. So 

The dinner bell rang and she said she'd have to 
go, and we made a meeting for afterwards on the 
top deck; but as she was getting up, she yielded 
again to my hand with a little sigh and T found her 
sex all wet, wet! 

She got down out of the boat by the main rigging 
and I waited a few moments before following her. 
At first our caution seemed likely to be rewarded, 
chiefly, I have thought since, because everyone 
believed me to be too young and too small to be taken 
seriously. But everything is quickly known on 
seaboard at least by the sailors. 

I went down to Dr. Keogh's cabin, once more 
joyful and grateful as I had been with E . . . . My 
fingers were like eyes gratifying my curiosity, and 
the curiosity was insatiable. Jessie's thighs were 
smooth and firm and round: T took delight in recalling 
the touch of them, and her bottom was firm like 
warm marble. I wanted to see her naked and study 
her beauties one after the other. Her sex too was 
wonderful, fuller even than Lucille's and her eyes 
were finer. Oh, Life was a thousand times better than 
school. I thrilled with joy and passionate wild hopes 
— perhaps Jessie would let me, perhaps — T was 
breathless. 

Our walk on deck that evening was not so 
satisfactory: the wind had gone down and there were 
many other couples and the men all seemed to know 
Jessie, and it was Miss Kerr here, and Miss Kerr 
there, till I was cross and disappointed; I couldn't 
get her to myself, save at moments, but then I had to 
admit she was as sweet as ever and her Aberdeen 
accent even was quaint and charming to me. 

I got some long kisses at odd moments and just 
before we went down I drew her behind a boat in the 
davits and was able to caress her little breasts and. 



86 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

when she turned her back to me to go, I threw my 
arms round her hips and drew them against me and 
felt her sex and she leant her head back over her 
shoulder and gave me her mouth with dying eyes. 
The darling! Jessie was apt at all Love's lessons. 

The next day was cloudy and rain threatened, but 
we were safely ensconced in the boat by two o'clock, 
as soon as lunch was over, and we hoped no one had 
seen us. An hour passed in caressings and fondlings, 
in love's words and love's promises : I had won Jessie 
to touch my sex and her eyes seemed to deepen as she 
caressed it. 

"I love you, Jessie, won't you let it touch yours V' 

She shook her head. "Not here, not in the open", 
she whispered and then, "wait a little till we get to 
New York, dear", and our mouths sealed the compact. 

Then I asked her about New York and her sister's 
house, and we were discussing where we should meet, 
when a big head and beard showed above the gunwale 
of the boat and a deep Scotch voice said: "I want ye, 
Jessie, I've been luiking everywhere for ye". 

"Awright, father", she said, "I'll be down in a 
minute". 

"Come quick", said the voice as the head 
disappeared. 

"I'll tell him we love each other and he won't be 
angry for long", whispered Jessie; but I was doubtful. 
As she got up to go my naughty hand went up her 
dress behind and felt her warm, smooth buttocks. Ah, 
the poignancy of the ineffable sensations; her eyes 
smiled over her shoulder at me and she was gone — 
and the sunlight with her. 

I still remember the sick disappointment as I sat 
in the boat alone. Life then like school had its 
chagrins, and as the pleasures were keener, the balks 
and blights were bitterer. For the first time in my 



FROM SO WOOL TO AMERICA. 87 

life vague misgivings came over me, a heartshaking 
suspicion that everything delightful and joyous in 
life had to be paid for — I wouldn't harbor the 
fear. If I had to pay, I'd pay; after all, the memory 
of the ecstasy could never be taken away while the 
sorrow was fleeting. And that faith I still hold. 

Next day the Chief Steward allotted me a berth 
in a cabin with an English midshipman of seventeen 
going out to join his ship in the West Indies. William 
Ponsonby was not a bad sort, but he talked of nothing 
but girls from morning till night and insisted that 
negresses were better than white girls: they were 
far more passionate, he said. 

He showed me his sex; excited himself before me, 
while assuring me he meant to have a Miss LeBreton, 
a governess who was going out to take up a position 
in Pittsburg. 

"But suppose you put her in the family way .'" I 
asked. 

"That's not my funeral", was Ins answer, and 
seeing that the cynicism shocked me, he went on to 
say there was no danger if you withdrew in time. 
Ponsonby never opened a book and was astound- 
ingiy ignorant: he didn't seem to care to learn 
anything that hadn't to do with sex. He introduced 
me to Miss LeBreton the same evening. She was 
rather tall, with fair hair and blue eyes, and she 
praised my reciting. To my wonder she was a woman 
and pretty, and I could see by the way she looked 
at Ponsonbv that she was more than a little in love 
with him. He was above middle height, strong and 
good-tempered, and that was all I could see in him. 

Miss Jessie kept away the whole evening and 
when I saw her father on the "upper deck", he 
glowered at me and went past without a word. That 
night 1 told Ponsonby my story, or part of it, and he 



88 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

declared he would find a sailor to carry a note to 
Jessie next morning if I'd write it. 

Besides, he proposed we should occupy the cabin 
alternate afternoons; for example, he'd take it next 
day and I mustn't come near it, and if at any time 
one of us found the door locked, he was to respect 
his chum's privacy. I agreed to it all with enthusiasm 
and went to sleep in a fever of hope. Would Jessie 
risk her father's anger and come to me? Perhaps 
she would: at any rate I'd write and ask her and I 
did. In one hour the same sailor came back with 
her reply. It ran like this: "Dear love, father is 
mad, we shall have to take great care for two or three 
days: as soon as it's safe, I'll come — your loving 
Jess", with a dozen crosses for kisses. 

That afternoon, without thinking of my compact 
with Ponsonby, I went to our cabin and found the door 
locked: at once our compact came into my head and 
J went quietly away. Had he succeeded so quickly? 
and was she with him in bed? The half certainty 
made my heart beat. 

That evening Ponsonby could not conceal his 
success but as he used it partly to praise his mistress. 
1 forgave him. 

"She has the prettiest figure you ever saw", he 
declared, "and is really a dear. We had just finished 
when you came to the door. I said it was some 
mistake and she believed me. She wants me to marry 
her but I can't marry. If I were rich I'd marry quick 
enough. It's better than risking some foul disease*", 
and he went on to tell about one of his colleagues, 
John Lawrence, who got Black Pox, as he called 
syphilis, caught from a negress. 

"He didn't notice it for three months", Ponsonby 
went on, "and it got into his system; his nose got bad 
and he was invalided home, poor devil. Those black 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERICA. 89 

girls are four', he continued, "they give everyone the 
clap and that's bad enough, I can tell you; they're 
dirty devils". His ruttish sorrows didn't interest me 
muck, for I had made up my mind never at any time to 
go with any prostitute. 

I came to several such uncommon resolutions on 
hoard that ship, and I may set down the chief of 
them here very briefly. First of all, I resolved that 
I would do every piece of work given to me as well 
as I could, so that no one coming after me could do 
it better. I had found out at school in the last term 
that if you gave your whole mind and heart to 
anything, you learned it very quickly and thoroughly. 
I was sine even before the trial that my first job 
would lead me straight to fortune. 1 had seen men at 
work and knew it would be easy to beat any of them. 
I was only eager for the trial. 

I remember one evening I had waited for Jessie 
and she never came and just before going to bed, 
1 went up into the bow of the ship where one was 
alone with the sea and sky, and swore to myself this 
great oath, as I called it in my romantic fancy : what- 
ever I undertook to do, I would do it to the uttermost 
in me. 

If 1 have had any success in life or clone any 
good work, it is due in great part to that resolution. 

1 could not keep my thoughts from Jessie; if i 
tried to put her out of my head, I'd either get a little 
note from her, or Ponsonby would come begging me to 
leave him the cabin the whole day: at length in 
despair I begged her for her address in New York, 
for I feared to lose her forever in that maelstrom. 1 
added that 1 would alwavs be in my cabin and alone 
from one to half past if she could ever come. 

That day she didn't come, and the old gentleman 
who said he would adopt me, got hold of me, told me 



90 MY LIFE AND LOVES, 

he was a banker and would send me to Harvard, the 
University near Boston; from what the Doctor had 
said of me, he hoped I would do great things. He 
was really kind and tried to be sympathetic, but he 
had no idea that what I wanted chiefly was to prove 
myself, to justify my own high opinion of my powers 
in the open fight of life. I didn't want help and I 
absolutely resented his protective airs. 

Next day in the cabin came a touch on the door 
and Jessie all flustered was in my arms. "I can only 
stay a minute", she cried, "Father is dreadful, says 
you are only a child and won't have me engage myself 
and he watches me from morning to night. I could 
only get away now because he had to go down to the 
machine-room." 

Before she had finished, 1 had locked the cabin 
door. 

"Oh, I must go", she cried, "I must really: I 
only came to give you my address in New York, here 
it is", and she handed me the paper that I put at once 
in my pocket. And then I put both my arms under 
her clothes and my hands were on her warm hips, 
and I was speechless with delight; in a moment my 
right hand came round in front and as I touched her 
sex our lips clung together and her sex opened at 
once, and my finger began to caress her and we kissed 
and kissed again. Suddenly her lips got hot and while 
I was still wondering why, her sex got wet and her 
eyes began to flutter and turn up. A moment or two 
later she tried to get out of my embrace. 

"Really, dear, I'm frightened: he might come and 
make a noise and I'd die; please let me go now: we'll 
have lots of time in New York" — but I could not bear 
to let her go. "He'd never come here where there are 
two men", I said, "never, he might find the wrong one", 
and I drew her to me, but seeing' she was only half 



FROM SCHOOL TO AMERIKA. 



91 



reassured, I said while lifting her dress, "Let mine 
just touch yours, and I'll let you go r ' and the next mo- 
ment my sex was against hers and almost in spite of 
herself she yielded to the throbbing warmth of it; but 
when I pushed in, she drew away and down on it a 
little and I saw anxiety in her eyes that had grown 
very dear to me. 

At once I stopped and put away my sex and let 
her clothes drop. "You're such a sweet, Jess", I said, 
"who could deny you anything; in New York then, 
but now one long kiss." 

She gave me her mouth at once and her lips were 
hot. I learned that morning that when a girl's lips 
>w hot. her sex is hot first and she is ready to give 
herself and ripe for the embrace. 








■ Cii 







i-X 




THE GREAT NEW WORLD! 

Chapter V. 

A stolen kiss and fleeting caress as we met on 
^"^ the deck at night were all I had of Jessie for 
the rest of the voyage. One evening landlights 
flickering in the distance drew crowds to the deck; 
the ship began to slow down. The cabin passengers 
went below as usual, but hundreds of immigrants sat 
up as I did and watched the stars slide down the sky 
till at length dawn came with silver lights and start- 
ling revelations. 

I can still recall the thrills that overcame me 
when I realized the great waterways of that land- 
locked harbor and saw Long Island Sound stretching 
away on one hand like a sea and the magnificent 
Hudson River with its palisades on the other, while 
before me was the East River, nearly a mile in width. 
What an entrance to a new world! A magnificent 
and safe ocean port which is also the meeting place 
of great water paths into the continent. 

No finer site could be imagined for a world ca- 
pital; I was entranced with the spacious grandeur, 
the manifest destiny of this Queen City of the Waters. 

The Old Battery was pointed out to me and Gov- 
ernor's Island and the prison and where the bridge 



•> 



THE GREAT NEW WORLD. 9: 

was being built to Brooklyn: suddenly Jessie passed 
on her father's arm and shot me one radiant, linger- 
ing glance of love and promise. 

I remember nothing more till we landed and the 
old banker came up to tell me he had had my little 
box taken from the "H's" where it belonged and put 
with his luggage among the "S's". 

"We are going , he added, "to the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel away up town in Madison Square: we'll be 
comfortable there", and he smiled self-complacently. 
I smiled too, and thanked him; but I had no intention 
of going in his company. I went back to the ship and 
thanked Dr. Keogh with all my heart for his great 
goodness to me; he gave me his address in New York 
and incidentally I learned from him that if I kept 
the key of my trunk, no one could open it or take it 
away; it would be left in charge of the Customs till 
I called for it. 

In a minute I was back in the long shed on the 
dock and had wandered nearly to the end when 1 
perceived the stairs: "Is that the way into the town !" 
I asked and a man replied, "Sure". One quick glance 
around to see that I was not noticed and in a moment 
I was down the stairs and out in the street: I raced 
straight ahead of me for two or three blocks and then 
asked and was told that Fifth Avenue was right 
in front. As I turned up Fifth Avenue, I began to 
breathe freely; "no more fathers for me". The old 
Greybeard who had bothered me was consigned to 
oblivion without regret. Of course, I know now that 
he deserved better treatment. Perhaps indeed I 
should have done better had I accepted his kindly, 
generous help, but I'm trying to set down the plain, 
unvarnished truth, and here at once I must say that 
children's affections are much slighter than most pa- 
rents imagine. I never wasted a thought on my 



94 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

father; even my brother Vernon who had always 
been kind to ine and fed my inordinate vanity , was 
not regretted: the new life called me: I was in a 
flutter of expectancy and hope. 

Some way up Fifth Avenue I came into the great 
Square and saw the Fifth Avenue Hotel, but I only 
grinned and kept right on till at length I reached 
Central Park. Near it, I can't remember exactly 
where, but I believe it was near where the Plaza 
Hotel stands today, there was a small wooden house 
with an outhouse at the other end of the lot. While 
I stared a woman came out with a bucket and went 
across to the outhouse. In a few moments she came 
back again and noticed me looking over the fence. 

"Would you please give me a drink V I asked. 
*\Sure I will", she replied with a strong Irish brogue. 
"Come right in" and I followed her into her kitchen. 

"You're Irish", I said, smiling at her. "I am", 
she replied, "how did ye guess?" "Because I was 
born in Ireland too", I retorted. "You were not!" 
she cried emphatically, more for pleasure than to con- 
tradict. "I was bom in Galway", I went on and at 
once she became very friendly and poured me out 
some milk warm from the cow, and when she heard 
1 had had no breakfast and saw I was hungry, she 
pressed me to eat and sat down with me and soon 
heard my whole story or enough of it to break out 
in wonder again and again. 

In turn she told me how she had married Mike 
Mulligan, a longshoreman who earned good wages 
and was a good husband but took a drop too much 
now and again, as a man will when tempted by one 
of "thiin saloons". It was the saloons, I learned, that 
were the ruination of all the best Irishmen and "they 
were the best men anyway, an' — an" — " and the 
kindly, homely talk flowed on, charming me. 



THE GREAT NEW WORLD. 95 

When the breakfast was over and the things 
cleared away I rose to go with many thanks but Mrs. 
Mulligan wouldn't hear of it. "Ye're a child' , , she 
said, "an' don't know New York: it's a terrible place 
and you must wait till Mike comes home an' — " 

"But I must find some place to sleep", I said, 
"I have money." 

"You'll sleep here", she broke in decisively, "and 
Mike will put ye on yer feet; sure he knows New 
York like his pocket, an' yer as welcome as the flowers 
in May, an' — " 

What could I do but stay and talk and listen to 
all sorts of stories about New York, and "toughs" that 
were "hard cases" and "gunmen" an' "wimmin that 
were worse — bad scran to them". 

In due time Mrs. Mulligan and I had dinner to- 
gether, and after dinner I got her permission to go 
into the Park for a walk, but "mind now and be home 
by six or I'll send Mike after ye", she added laughing. 

I walked a little way in the Park and then star- 
ted down town again to the address Jessie had given 
me near the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a mean street, 
I thought, but I soon found Jessie's sister's house 
and went to a nearby restaurant and wrote a little 
note to my love, that she could show if need be, saying 
that I proposed to call on the 18th, or two days after 
the ship we had come in was due to return to Liver- 
pool. After that duty which made it possible for me 
to hope all sorts of things on the 18th, 19th or 20th r 
I sauntered over to Fifth Avenue and made my way 
up town again. At any rate I was spending nothing 
in my present lodging. 

When I returned that night I was presented to 
Mike: I found him a big, good-looking Irishman who 
thought his wife a wonder and all she did perfect. 
"Mary", he said, winking at me, "is one of the best 

8 



96 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

cooks in the wurrld and if it weren't that she's down 
on a man when he has a drop in him, she'd be the best 
gurrl on God's earth. As it is, I married her and I've 
never been sorry: have I Mary?" "Ye've had no 
cause, Mike Mulligan." 

Mike had nothing particular to do next morning 
and so he promised he would go and get my little 
trunk from the Custom House. I gave him the key. 
He insisted as warmly as his wife that I should stay 
with them till I got work: I told them how eager I 
was to begin and Mike promised to speak to his chief 
and some friends and see what could be done. 

Next morning I got up about five-thirty as soon 
as I heard Mike stirring, and went down Seventh 
Avenue with him till he got on the horse-car for 
down-town and left me. About seven-thirty to eight 
o'clock a stream of people began walking down-town 
to their offices. On several corners were bootblack 
shanties. One of them happened to have three custom- 
ers in it and only one bootblack. 

"Won't you let me help you shine a pair or twot" f 
I asked. The bootblack looked at me: "I don't mind", 
he said and I seized the brushes and went to work. 
I had done the two just as he finished the first: he 
whispered to me "halves" as the next man came in 
and he showed me how to use the polishing rag or 
cloth. I took off my coat and waistcoat and went to 
work with a will; for the next hour and a half we 
both had our hands full. Then the rush began to 
slack off but not before I had taken just over a, dollar 
and a half. Afterwards we had a talk and Allison, 
the bootblack, told me he'd be glad to give me work 
any morning on the same terms. I assured him I'd 
be there and do my best till I got other work. I had 
earned three shillings and had found out I could 
get good board for three dollars a week, so in a 



THE GREAT NEW WORLD. 97 

couple of hours I had earned my living. The last 
anxiety left me. 

Mike had a day off, so he came home for dinner 
at noon and he had great news. They wanted men 
to work under water in the iron caissons of Brooklyn 
Bridge and they were giving from five to ten dollars 
a day. 

"Five dollars", cried Mrs. Mulligan, "it must be 
dangerous or unhealthy or somethin' — sure, you'd 
never put the child to work like that." 

Mike excused himself, but the danger, if danger 
there was, appealed to me almost as much as the big 
pay: my only fear was that they'd think me too small 
or too young. I had told Mrs. Mulligan I was six- 
teen, for I didn't want to be treated as a child and 
now I showed her the eighty cents I had earned that 
morning bootblacking, and she advised me to keep on 
at it and not go to work under the water; but the 
promised five dollars a day won me. 

Next morning Mike took me to Brooklyn Bridge 
soon after five o'clock to see the Contractor: he wan- 
ted to engage Mike at once but shook his head over 
me. "Give me a trial", I pleaded, "You'll see, I'll 
make good." After a pause, "0. K.", he said, "four 
shifts have gone down already underhanded; you 
may try." 

I've told about the work and its dangers at some 
length in my novel "The Bomb", but here I may add 
some details just to show what labor has to suffer. 

In the bare shed where we got ready the men told 
me no one could do the work for long without getting 
the "bends"; the "bends", it appeared, were a sort of 
convulsive fit that twisted one's body like a knot and 
often made you an invalid for life. They soon ex- 
plained the whole procedure to me. We worked, it 
appeared, in a huge bell-shaped caisson of iron that 

8" 



98 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

went to the bottom of the river and was pumped full 
of compressed air to keep the water from entering it 
from below: the top of the caisson is a room called 
the "material chamber" into which the stuff dug out 
of the river passes up and is carted away. On the 
side of the caisson is another room, called the "air- 
lock", into which we were to go to be "compressed". 
As the compressed air is admitted, the blood keeps 
absorbing the gasses of the air till the tension of the 
gasses in the blood becomes equal to that in the air: 
when this equilibrium has been reached, men can 
work in the caisson for hours without serious dis- 
comfort if sufficient pure air is constantly pumped 
in. It was the foul air that did the harm, it appeared; 
"if they'd pump in good air, it would be 0. K.: but 
that would cost a little time and trouble and men's 
lives are cheaper." I saw that the men wanted to 
warn me, thinking I was too young, and accordingly 
I pretended to take little heed. 

When we went into the "airlock" and they turned 
on one aircock after another of compressed air, the 
men put their hands to their ears and I soon imitated 
them for the pain was very acute. Indeed, the drums 
of the ears are often driven in and burst if the com- 
pressed air is brought in too quickly. I found that 
the best way of meeting the pressure was to keep 
swallowing air and forcing it up into the middle ear 
where it acted as an air-pad on the inner side of the 
drum and so lessened the pressure from the outside. 

It took about half an hour or so to "compress" 
us and that half an hour gave me lots to think about. 
When the air was fully compressed, the door of the 
airlock opened at a touch and we all went down to 
work with pick and shovel on the gravelly bottom. 
My headache soon became acute. The six of us were 
working naked to the waist in a small iron chamber 



THE GREAT NEW WORLD. 99 

with a temperature of about 180 Fahrenheit: in five 
minutes the sweat was pouring from us and all the 
while we were standing in icy water that was only 
kept from rising by the terrific air-pressure. No 
wonder the headaches were blinding. The men didn't 
work for more than ten minutes at a time, but I plugged 
on steadily, resolved to prove myself and get con- 
stant employment; only one man, a Swede named 
Anderson, worked at all as hard. I was overjoyed 
to find that together we did more than the four 
others. The amount done each week was estimated, 
he told me, by an inspector. Anderson was known to 
the Contractor and received half a wage extra as 
head of our gang. He assured me I could stay as 
long as I liked, but he advised me to leave at the end 
of a month: it was too unhealthy: above all, I mustn't 
drink and should spend all my spare time in the open. 
He was kindness itself to me as indeed were all the 
others. After two hours' work down below we went 
up into the airlock room to get gradually "decom- 
pressed", the pressure of air in our veins having to be 
brought down gradually to the usual air pressure. 
The men began to put on their clothes and passed 
round a bottle of Schnaps; but though I was soon 
as cold as a wet rat and felt depressed and weak to 
boot, I would not touch the liquor. In the shed above 
I took a cupful of hot cocoa with Anderson which 
stopped the shivering and I was soon able to face the 
afternoon's ordeal. 

I had no idea one could feel so badly when being 
"decompressed" in the airlock, but I took Anderson's 
advice and got into the open as soon as I could, and 
by the time I had walked home in the evening and 
changed, I felt strong again, but the headache didn't 
leave me entirely and the earache came back every 



100 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

now and then and to this day a slight deafness re- 
minds me of that spell of work under water. 

I went into Central Park for half an hour; the 
first pretty girl I met reminded me of Jessie: in one 
week I'd be free to see her and tell her I was making 
good and she'd keep her promise, I felt sure; the 
mere hope led me to fairyland. Meanwhile nothing 
could take away the proud consciousness that with 
my five dollars I had earned two weeks' living in a 
day: a month's work would make me safe for a year. 

When I returned I told the Mulligans I must 
pay for my board, said "I'd feel better, if you'll let 
me" and finally they consented, though Mrs. Mulli- 
gan thought three dollars a week too much. I was 
glad when it was settled and went to bed early to 
have a good sleep. For three or four days things 
went fairly well with me but on the fifth or sixth day 
we came on a spring of water or "gusher" and were 
wet to the waist before the air pressure could be in- 
creased to cope with it. As a consequence a dreadful 
pain shot through both my ears: I put my hands to 
them tight and sat still a little while. Fortunately 
the shift was almost over and Anderson came with 
me to the horse-car. "You'd better knock off", he 
said, "I've known 'em go deaf from it." 

The pain had been appalling but it was slowly 
diminishing and I was resolved not to give in. "Could 
I get a day offl" I asked Anderson: he nodded, "of 
course: you're the best in the shift, the best I've ever 
seen, a great little pony." 

Mrs. Mulligan saw at once something was wrong 
and made me try her household remedy — a roasted 
onion cut in two and clapped tight on each ear with 
a flannel bandage. It acted like magic : in ten minutes 
I was free of pain: then she poured in a little warm 
sweet oil and in an hour I was walking in the Park 



THE GREAT NEW WORLD. 101 

as usual. Still the fear of deafuess was on me and 
I was very glad when Anderson told me he had com- 
plained to the Boss and we were to get an extra thou- 
sand feet of pure air. It would make a great diffe- 
rence, Anderson said, and he was right, but the im- 
provement was not sufficient.* 

One day just as the "decompression" of an hour 
and a half was ending, an Italian named Manfredi 
fell down and writhed about, knocking his face on 
the floor till the blood spurted from his nose and 
mouth. When we got him into the shed, his legs 
were twisted like plaited hair. The surgeon had him 
taken to the hospital. I made up my mind that a 
month would be enough for me. 

At the end of the first week I got a note from 
Jessie saying that her father was going on board 
that afternoon and she could see me the next evening. 
I went and was introduced to Jessie's sister who, to 
my surprise, was tall and large but without a trace 
of Jessie's good looks. 

"He's younger than you, Jess", she burst out 
laughing. A week earlier I'd have been hurt to the 
soul, but I had proved myself, so I said simply, "I'm 
earning five dollars a day, Mrs. Plummer, and money 
talks." Her mouth fell open in amazement. "Five 
dollars", she repeated, "I'm sorry, I — I — " 

"There, Maggie", Jessie broke in, "I told you, 
you had never seen anyone like him; you'll be great 
friends yet. Now come and we'll have a walk", she 
added and out we went. 

To be with her even in the street was delightful 



*) In Germany I have since learned the State requires that 
ten times as much pure air must be suppled as we had and in 
consequence the serious illnesses wh ch with us amounted to 
eigh y per cent in three months have been reduced to eight. 
Paternal Government, it appears, has certain good points. 



102 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

and I had a lot to say, but making love in a New 
York street on a summer evening is difficult and I 
was hungry to kiss and caress her freely. Jessie, 
however, had thought of a way: if her sister and hus- 
band had theatre tickets, they'd go out and we'd be 
alone in the apartment; it would cost two dollars, 
however, and she thought that a lot. I was delighted : 
I gave her the bills and arranged to be with her next 
night before eight o'clock. Did Jessie know what 
was going to happen? Even now I'm uncertain, 
though I think she guessed. 

Next night I waited till the coast was clear and 
then hurried to the door. As soon as we were alone 
in the little parlor and I had kissed her, I said, 
"Jessie, I want you to undress. I'm sure your figure 
is lovely, but I want to know it". 

"Not at once, eh?" she pouted, "talk to me first. 
I want to know how you are?" and I drew her to the 
big armchair and sat down with her in my arms. 
"What am I to tell you?" I asked, while my hand 
went up her dress to her warm thighs and sex. She 
frowned but I kissed her lips and with a movement or 
two stretched her out on me so that I could use my 
finger easily. At once her lips grew hot and I went 
on kissing and caressing till her eyes closed and she 
gave herself to the pleasure. Suddenly she wound 
herself upon me and gave me a big kiss. "You don't 
talk", she said. 

"I can't", I exclaimed, making up my mind. 
"Come", and I lifted her to her feet and took her into 
the bedroom. "I'm crazy for you", I said, "take off 
your clothes, please." She resisted a little but when I 
began loosening her dress, she helped me and took it 
off. Her knickers, I noticed, were new. They soon 
fell off and she stood in her chemise and black 
stockings. "That's enough, isn't it?" she said, "Mr. 



THE GREAT NEW WORLD. 103 

Curious", and she drew the chemise tight about her. 
"No", I cried, "beauty must unveil, please!" The 
next moment the chemise slipping down caught for a 
moment on her hips and then slid circling round her 
feet. 

Her nakedness stopped my heart; desire blinded 
me: my arms went round her, straining her soft form 
to me: in a moment I had lifted her on to the bed, 
pulling the bed clothes back at the same time. The 
foolish phrase of being in bed together deluded me: 
I had no idea that she was more in my power just 
lying on the edge of the bed; in a moment I had torn 
off my clothes and boots and got in beside her. Our 
warm bodies lay together: a thousand hot pulses beat- 
ing in us: soon I separated her legs and lying on her 
tried to put my sex into hers, but she drew away 
almost at once. "0 — O, it hurts" she murmured and 
each time I tried to push my sex in, her "O's" of pain 
stopped me. 

My wild excitement made me shiver; I could have 
struck her for drawing away; but soon I noticed that 
she let my sex touch her clitoris with pleasure and I 
began to use my cock as a finger, caressing her with it. 
In a moment or two I began to move it more quickly 
and as my excitement grew to the height, I again 
tried to slip it into her pussy, and now as her love-dew 
came, I got my sex in a little way which gave me 
inexpressible pleasure; but when I pushed to go 
further, she drew away again with a sharp cry of 
pain. At the same moment my orgasm came on for 
the first time and seed like milk spurted from my 
sex. The pleasure thrill was almost unbearably 
keen: I could have screamed with the pang of it; but 
Jessie cried out, "Oh, you're wetting me" and drew 
away with a frightened "Look, look!" And there, 
sure enough, on her round white thighs were patches 



104 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

of crimson blood. "Oh! I'm bleeding", she cried, 
"what have you done?" 

"Nothing", I answered, a little sulky, I'm afraid^ 
at having my indescribable pleasure cut short, "no- 
thing" and in a moment I had got out of bed, and 
taking my handkerchief soon wiped away the tell- 
tale traces. 

But when I wanted to begin again, Jessie 
wouldn't hear of it at first: 

"No, no", she said. "You've hurt me really, Jim, 
(my Christian name, I had told her, was James) and 
I'm scared, please be good". I could only do her will, 
till a new thought struck me. At any rate I could see 
her now and study her beauties one by one, and so 
still lying by her I began kissing her left breast and 
soon the nipple grew a little stiff in my mouth. 
Why, I didn't know and Jessie said she didn't, but 
she liked it when I said her breasts were lovely and 
indeed they were, small and firm while the nipples 
pointed straight out. Suddenly the thought came, 
surprising me: it would have been much prettier if 
the circle surrounding the nipples had been rose- 
red instead of merely umber brown. I was thrilled 
by the bare idea. But her flanks and belly were 
lovely; the navel like a curled sea-shell, I thought, 
and the triangle of silky brown hairs on the Mount 
of Venus seemed to me enchanting, but Jessie kept 
covering her beauty-place. "It's ugly", she said, 
"please, boy", but I went on caressing it and soon 
I was trying to slip my sex in again; though Jessie's 
"O's" of pain began at once and she begged me to 
stop. 

"We must get up and dress", she said, "they'll 
soon be back", so I had to content myself with just 
lying in her arms with my sex touching hers. Soon 
she began to move against my sex, and to kiss me, 



THE GREAT NEW WORLD. 105 

and then she bit my lips just as my sex slipped into 
hers again; she left it in for a long moment and then 
as her lips grew hot: "it's so big", she said, "but 
you're a dear". The moment after she cried: "We 
must get up, boy! if they caught us, I'd die of shame". 
When I tried to divert her atteution by kissing her 
breasts, she pouted, "That hurts too. Please, boy, 
stop and don't look", she added as she tried to 
rise, covering her sex the while with her hand, and 
pulling a frowning face. Though I told her she was 
mistaken and her sex was lovely, she persisted in 
hiding it, and in truth her breasts and thighs excited 
me more, perhaps because they were in themselves 
more beautiful. 

I put my hand on her hips; she smiled, "Please r 
boy" and as I moved away to give her room, she got 
up and stood by the bed, a perfect little figure in 
rosy, warm outline. I was entranced, but the cursed 
critical faculty was awake. As she turned, I saw she 
was too broad for her height; her legs were too short, 
her hips too stout. It all chilled me a little. Should 
I ever find perfection 1 ? 

Ten minutes later she had arranged the bed and 
we were seated in the sitting-room but to my wonder 
Jessie didn't want to talk over our experience. "What 
gave you most pleasure?" I asked. "All of it", she 
said, "you naughty dear; but don't let's talk of it". 

I told her I was going to work for a month, but 
I couldn't talk to her: my hand was soon up her 
clothes again playing with her sex and caressing it, 
and we had to move apart hurriedly when we heard 
her sister at the door. 

I didn't get another evening alone with Jessie 
for some time. I asked for it often enough, but Jessie 
made excuses and her sister was very cold to me. I 
soon found out it was by her advice that Jessie 



106 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

guarded herself. Jessie confessed that her sister 
accused her of letting me "act like a husband: she 
must have seen a stain on my chemise", Jessie added, 
'"when you made me bleed, you naughty boy; any 
way something gave her the idea and now you must 
be good". 

That was the conclusion of the whole matter. 
If I had known as much then as I knew ten years 
later, neither the pain nor her sister's warnings could 
have dissuaded Jessie from giving herself to me. 
Even at the time I felt that a little more knowledge 
would have made me the arbiter. 

The desire to have Jessie completely to myself 
again, was one reason why I gave up the job at the 
Bridge as soon as the month was up. I had over a 
hundred and fifty dollars clear in my pocket and I 
had noticed that though the pains in my ears soon 
ceased, I had become a little hard of hearing. The 
first morning I wanted to he in bed and have one 
.great lazy day, but I awoke at five as usual, and it 
.suddenly occurred to me that I should go down and 
see Allison, the bootblack, again. I found him busier 
than ever and I had soon stripped off and set to work. 
About ten o'clock we had nothing to do, so I told him 
of my work under water; he boasted that his "stand" 
brought him in about four dollars a day: there wasn't 
much to do in the afternoons, but from six to seven 
again he usually earned something more. 

I was welcome to come and work with him any 
morning on halves and I thought it well to accept his 
offer. 

That very afternoon I took Jessie for a walk in 
the Park, but when we had found a seat in the shade 
she confessed that her sister thought we ought to be 
engaged, and as soon as I got steady work we could 
be married: "A woman wants a home of her own", 



THE GREAT NEW WORLD. 107 

she said, "and oh, Boy! I'd make it so pretty! and 
we'd go out to the theatres and have a gay old 
time". 

I was horrified; married at my age, no, Sir! It 
seemed absurd to me and with Jessie. I saw she was 
pretty and bright, but she knew nothing, never had 
read anything: I couldn't marry her. The idea made 
me snort. But she was dead in earnest, so I agreed 
to all she said, only insisting that first I must got 
regular work; I'd buy the engagement ring too: but 
first we must have another great evening. Jessie 
didn't know whether her sister would go out, but 
she'd see. Meanwhile we kissed and kissed and her 
lips grew hot and my hand got busy, and then we- 
walked again, on and on, and finally went into the 
great Museum. 

Here I got one of the shocks of my life.. 
Suddenly Jessie stopped before a picture represent- 
ing, I think, Paris choosing the Goddess of Beauty ,> 
Paris being an ideal figure of youthful manhood. 

"Oh, isn't he splendid!" cried Jessie, "just like 
you", she added with feminine wit, pouting out her 
lips as if to kiss me. If she hadn't made the personal 
application, I might not have realized the absurdity 
of the comparison. But Paris had long, slim legs 
while mine were short and stout, and his face was 
oval and his nose straight, while my nose jutted out 
with broad, scenting nostrils. 

The conviction came to me in a flash: I was ugly 
with irregular features, sharp eyes and short squat 
figure: the certainty overpowered me: I had learned 
before that I was too small to be a great athlete, now 
I saw that I was ugly to boot: my heart sank: I can 
not describe my disappointment and disgust. 

Jessie asked; what was the matter and at length 
I told her. She wouldn't have it: "You've a lovely 



108 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

white skin", she cried, "and you're quick and strong: 
no one would call you ugly! — the idea!" But the 
knowledge was in me indisputable, never to leave me 
again for long. It even led me to some erroneous in- 
ferences then and there: for example, it seemed clear 
to me that if I had been tall and handsome like Paris, 
Jessie would have given herself to me in spite of her 
sister; but further knowledge of women makes me 
inclined to doubt this: they have a luscious eye for 
good looks in the male, naturally; but other qualities, 
such as strength and dominant self-confidence have 
an even greater attraction for the majority, 
especially for those who are richly endowed sexually 
and I am inclined to think that it was her sister's 
warnings and her own matter-of-fact hesitation 
before the irrevocable that induced Jessie to withhold 
her sex from complete abandonment. But the 
pleasure I had experienced with her, made me keener 
than ever, and more enterprising. The conviction of 
my ugliness, too, made me resolve to develope my 
mind and all other faculties as much as I could. 

Finally, I saw Jessie home and had a great hug 
and long kiss and was told she had had a bully after- 
noon and we made another appointment. 

I worked at bootblacking every morning and soon 
got some regular customers, notably a young, well- 
dressed man who seemed to like me. Either Allison, 
or he himself, told me his name was Kendrick and he 
came from Chicago. One morning he was very silent 
and absorbed. At length I said, "Finished" and 
""Finished", he repeated after me: "I was thinking of 
something else", he explained. "Intent", I said 
smiling. "A business deal", he explained, "but why 
do you say intent 1" "The Latin phrase came into 
my head", I replied without thinking, 'Intentique ore 
tenebant', Vergil says." 



THE GREAT NEW WORLD. 109 

"Good God!" he cried, "fancy a bootblack quoting 
Vergil. You're a strange lad, what age are you! 1 " 
"Sixteen", I replied. "You don't look it", he said, 
"but now I must hurry; one of these days we'll have 
a talk". I smiled, "Thank you, Sir", and away he 
hastened. 

The very next day he was in still greater haste: 
"I must get down town", he said, "I'm late already; 
just give me a rub or two", he cried impatiently, "I 
must catch that train" and he fumbled with some 
bills in his hand. "It's all right", I said, and 
smiling added; "Hurry! I'll be here tomorrow". He 
smiled and went off without paying, taking me at my 
word. 

The next day I strolled down-town early; for 
Allison had found that a stand and lean-to were to 
be sold on the corner of 13th Street and Seventh 
Avenue, and as he was known, he wanted me to 
go and have a look at the business done from seven 
to nine. The Dago who wished to sell out and go 
back to Dalmatia, wanted three hundred dollars for 
the outfit, asserting that the business brought in four 
dollars a day. He had not exaggerated unduly, I 
found, and Allison was hot that we should buy it 
together and go fifty-fifty. "You'll make five or six 
dollars a day at it", he said, "if the Dago makes 
four. It's one of the good pitches and with three 
dollars a day coming in, you'll soon have a stand 
of your own". 

While we were discussing it, Kendrick came up 
and took his accustomed seat. "What were you so hot 
about?" he asked, and as Allison smiled, I told him, 
"Three dollars a day seems good", he said, "but 
bootblacking's not your game. How would you like 
to come to Chicago and have a place as night-clerk 



110 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

in my hotel? I've got one with my uncle", he added, 
"and I think you'd make good". 

"I'd do my best", I replied, the very thought of 
Chicago and the Great West drawing me, "Will you 
let me think it over?" 

"Sure, sure!", he replied, "I don't go back till 
Friday; that gives you three days to decide". 

Allison stuck to his opinion, that a good stand 
would make more money; but when I talked it over 
with the Mulligans, they were both in favor of the 
hotel. I saw Jessie that same evening and told her 
of the "stand" and begged for another evening, but 
she stuck to it that her sister was suspicious and cross 
with me and would not leave us alone again. 
Accordingly, I said nothing to her of Chicago. 

I had already noticed that sexual pleasure is in 
its nature profoundly selfish. So long as Jessie 
yielded to me and gave me delight, I was attracted 
by her; but as soon as she denied me, I became 
annoyed and dreamed of more pliant beauties. I was 
rather pleased to leave her without even a word; 
"that'll teach her!" my wounded vanity whispered, 
"she deserves to suffer a little for disappointing me". 

But parting with the Mulligans was really 
painful: Mrs. Mulligan was a dear, kind woman who 
would have mothered the whole race if she could; 
one of those sweet Irish women whose unselfish 
deeds and thoughts are the flowers of our sordid 
human life. Her husband too was not unworthy of 
her; very simple and straight and hard-working, 
without a mean thought in him, a natural prey to 
good fellowship and songs and poteen. 

On Friday afternoon I left New York for 
Chicago with Mr. Kendrick. The country seemed 
to me very bare, harsh and unfinished, but the great 
distances enthralled me; it was indeed a land to be 




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m a 




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V, 



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V 






















THE GREAT NEW WORLD. Ill 

proud of, every broad acre of it spoke of the future 
and suggested hope. 

My first round, so to speak, with American life 
was over. What I had learned in it remains with 
me still. No people is so kind to children and no life 
so easy for the handworkers; the hewers of wood 
and drawers of water are better off in the United 
States than anywhere else on earth. To this one 
class and it is by far the most numerous class, the 
American democracy more than fulfills its promises. 
It levels up the lowest in a most surprising way. I 
believed then with all my heart what so many believe 
today, that all deductions made, it was on the whole, 
the best civilization yet known among men. 

In time, deeper knowledge made me modify this 
opinion more and more radically. Five years later 
I was to see Walt Whitman, the noblest of all 
Americans, living in utter poverty at Camden, 
dependent upon English admirers for a change of 
clothes or a sufficiency of food, and Poe had suffered 
in the same way. 

Bit by bit the conviction was forced in upon me 
that if the American democracy does much to level 
up the lowest class, it is still more successful in 
levelling down the highest and best. No land on 
earth is so friendly to the poor illiterate toilers, 
no land so contemptuous-cold to the thinkers and 
artists, the guides of humanity. What help is there 
here for men of letters and artists, for the seers and 
prophets f Such guides are not wanted by the idle 
rich and are ignored by the masses, and after all the 
welfare of the head is more important even than 
that of the body and feet. 

What will become of those who stone the prophet? 
and persecute the teachers'? The doom is written in 
flaming letters on every page of history. 

9 



LIFE IN CHICAGO! 

Chapter VI. 

HP he Fremont House, Kendrick's hotel was near the 
Michigan Street Depot. In those days when 
Chicago had barely 300,000 inhabitants, it was an 
hotel of the second class. Mr. Kendrick had told me 
that Ms uncle, a Mr. Cotton really owned the House, 
but left him the chief share in the management, 
adding "What uncle says, goes always." In the 
course of time, I understood the nephew's loyalty; 
for Mr. Cotton was really kindly and an able man of 
business. My duties as night-clerk were simple; 
from eight at night till six in the morning, I was 
master in the office and had to apportion bedrooms 
to the incoming guests and give bills and collect the 
monies due from the outgoing public. I set myself 
at once to learn the good and bad points of the 
hundred odd bedrooms in the house and the arrival 
and departure times of all the night trains. When 
guests came in, I met them at the entrance, found 
out what they wanted and told this or that porter 
or bell-boy to take them to their rooms. However 
curt or irritable they were, ] always tried to smoothe 
them down and soon found 1 was succeeding. In 
a week Mr. Kendrick told me that he had heard 



LIFE IN CHICAGO. 113 

golden opinions of me from a dozen visitors. "You 
have a dandy night-clerk," he was told; "Spares no 
pains . . . pleasant manners . . . knows everything 
. . "some" clerk; yes, sir!" 

My experience in Chicago assured me that if one 
does his very best, he comes to success in business in 
a comparatively short time; so few do all they can. 
Going to bed at six, I was up every day at I o'clock 
for dinner as it was called and after dinner I got 
into the habit of going inte the billiard-room at one 
end of which was a large bar. By five o'clock or so, 
the billiard-room was crowded and there was no one 
to superintend things, so I spoke to Mr. Kendrick 
about it and took the job on my own shoulders. I 
had little to do but induce newcomers to await their 
turn patiently and to mollify old customers who 
expected to find tables waiting for them. The result 
of a little courtesy and smiling promises was so 
marked that at the end of the very first month the 
bookkeeper, a man named Curtis, told me with a grin 
that I was to get sixty dollars a month and not 
forty dollars as I had supposed. Needless to say the 
extra pay simply quickened my desire to make 
myself useful. But now I found the way up barred by 
two superiors, the bookkeeper was one and the 
steward, a dry taciturn Westerner named Payne was 
the other. Payne bought everything and had control 
of the dining-room and waiters while Curtis ruled 
the office and the bell-boys. I was really under 
Curtis; but my control of the billiard-room gave me 
a sort of independent position. 

I soon made friends with Curtis; got into the 
habit of dining with him and when he found that my 
handwriting was very good, he gave me the day-book 
to keep and in a couple of months had taught me 
bookkeeping while entrusting me with a good deal 



1U MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

of it. He was not lazy; but most men of forty like 
to have a capable assistant. By Christmas that year 
I was keeping all the books except the ledger and I 
knew, as I thought, the whole business of the hotel. 

The dining room, it seemed to me was very badly 
managed; but as luck would have it, I was first to 
get control of the office. As soon as Curtis found 
out that I could safely be trusted to do his work, he 
began going out at dinner time and often stayed 
away the whole day. About New Year he was away 
for five days and confided in me when he returned, 
that he had been on a "bust". He wasn't nappy 
with his wife, it appeared, and he used to drink to 
drown her temper. In February he was away for 
ten days; but as he had given me the key of the safe 
I kept everything going. One day Kendrick found 
me in the office working and wanted to know about 
Curtis: "how long had he been away! v "A day or 
two," I replied. Kendrick looked at me and asked 
for the ledger: "it's written right up!" he exclaimed, 
"did you do it!" I had to say I did; but at once I 
sent a bellboy for Curtis. The boy didn't find him 
at his house and next day I was brought up before Mr. 
Cotton. I couldn't deny that I had kept the books 
and Cotton soon saw that I was shielding Curtis out 
of loyalty. When Curtis came in next day, he gave 
the whole show away; he was half-drunk still and 
rude to boot. He had been unwell, he said; but his 
work was in order. He was 'fired' there and then 
by Mr. Cotton and that evening Kendrick asked me 
to keep things going properly till he could persuade 
his uncle that I was trustworthy and older than I 
looked. 

In a couple of days I saw Mr. Cotton and Mr. 
Kendrick together. "Can you keep the books and be 
night-clerk and take care of the billiard-room?" Mr. 



LIFE IN CHICAGO. 115 

Cotton asked me sharply. "I think so" T replied, 
"I'll do my best." "Hm!" he grunted: "what pay do 
you think you ought to have!" "I'll leave that to 
you sir,' 1 I said, "I shall be satisfied whatever you 
give me." "The devil you will," he said grumpily, 
"suppose I said, keep on at your present rate?" I 
smiled; "0. K. Sir." 

"Why do you smile f" he asked. "Because, sir, 
pay like water tends to find its level!" "What the 
devil d'ye mean by its level V "The level," I went 
on, "is surely the market price; sooner or later it'll 
rise towards that and I can wait." His keen grey 
eyes suddenly bored into me. "I begin to think you're 
much older, than you look, as my nephew here tells 
me," he said. "Put yourself down at a hundred a 
month for the present and in a little while we'll per- 
haps find the 'level, 1 ' and he smiled. I thanked him 
and went out to my work. 

It seemed as if incidents were destined to crowd 

my life A day or so after this the taciturn 

steward, Payne, came and asked me if I'd go out 
with him to dinner and some theatre or other? I had 
not had a day off in five or six months so I said "Yes." 
He gave me a great dinner at a famous French restau- 
rant (I forget the name now) and wanted me to drink 
champagne. But I had already made up my mind 
not to touch any intoxicating liquor till I was twenty 
one and so I told him simply that I had taken the 
pledge. He beat about the bush a great deal, but at 
length said that as I was bookkeeper in place of 
Curtis, he hoped we should get along as he and Curtis 
had done. I asked him just what he meant but he 
wouldn't speak plainly which excited my suspicions. 
A day or two afterwards I got into talk with a butcher 
in another quarter of the town and asked him what 
h« would supply seventy pounds of beef and fifty 



116 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

pounds of mutton for, daily for a hotel; he gave me a 
price so much below the price Payne was paying that 
my suspicions were confirmed. I was tremendously 
excited. In my turn I invited Payne to dinner and 
led up to the subject. At once he said "of course 
there's a 'rake-off' and if you'll hold in with me, I'll 
give you a third as I gave Curtis. The f rake-ofP 
don't hurt anyone," he went on, "for I buy below 
market-price." Of course I was all ears and eager 
interest when he admitted that the 'rake-off' was on 
everything he bought and amounted to about 20 per 
cent, of the cost. By this he changed his wages from 
two hundred dollars a month into something like two 
hundred dollars a week. 

As soon as I had all the facts clear, I asked the 
nephew to dine with me and laid the situation before 
him. I had only one loyalty — to my employers and 
the good of the ship. To my astonishment he seemed 
displeased at first; "more trouble," he began, "why 
can't you stick to your own job and leave the others 
alone? What's in a commission after all?" When he 
came to understand what the commission amounted to 
and that he himself could do the buying in half an 
hour a day, he altered his tone. "What will my uncle 
say now?" he cried and went off to tell the owner his 
story. There was a tremendous row two days later 
for Mr. Cotton was a business man and went to the 
butcher we dealt with and ascertained for himself 
how important the 'rake-off' really was. When I was 
called into the uncle's room Payne tried to hit me ; but 
he found it was easier to receive than to give punches 
and that "the damned kid" was not a bit afraid of him. 

Curiously enough, I soon noticed that the "rake- 
off" had had the secondary result of giving us an infer- 
ior quality of meat; whenever the butcher was left 
with a roast he could not sell, he used to send it to us 



LIFE IN CHICAGO. 117 

confident that Payne wouldn't quarrel about it. The 
negro cook declared that the meat now was far better ; 
all that could be desired in fact, and our customers 
too were not slow to show their appreciation. 

One other change the discharge of Payne brought 
about; it made me master of the dining room. I soon 
picked a smart waiter and put him as chief over the 
rest and together we soon improved the waiting and 
discipline among the waiters out of all comparison. 
For over a year I worked eighteen hours out of the 
twenty four and after the first six months or so, I 
got one hundred and fifty dollars a month and saved 
practically all of it. 

Some experience in this long, icy-cold winter in 
Chicago enlarged my knowledge of American life and 
particularly of life on the lowest level. I had been 
about three months in the hotel when I went out one 
evening for a sharp walk, as I usually did, about seven 
o'clock. It was bitterly cold, a western gale raked 
the streets with icy teeth, the thermometer was about 
ten below zero. I had never imagined anything like 
the cold. Suddenly I was accosted by a stranger, a 
small man with red moustache and stubbly unshaven 
beard : 

"Say, mate, can you help a man to a mean" The 
fellow was evidently a tramp: his clothes shabby and 
dirty: his manner servile with a backing of trncu- 
lence. I was kindly and not critical. Without a 
thought, I took my roll of bills out of my pocket. I 
meant to take off a dollar bill. As the money came 
to view the tramp with a pounce grabbed at it, but 
caught my hand as well. Instinctively I held on to 
my roll like grim Death, but while I was still under 
the shock of surprise the hobo hit me viciously in the 
face and plucked at the bills again. I hung on all 
the tighter, and angry now, struck the man in the 



118 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

face with my left fist. The next moment we had 
clenched and fallen. As luck and youth would have 
it, I fell on top. At once I put out all my strength, 
struck the fellow hard in the face and at the same 
time tore my bills away. The next moment I was on 
my feet with my roll deep in my pocket and both 
fists ready for the next assault. To my astonishment 
the hobo picked himself up and said confidingly: 

"I'm hungry, weak, or you wouldn't have downed 
me so easy." And then he went on with what to me 
seemed incredible impudence: 

"You should peel me off a dollar at least for 
hittin' me like that," and he stroked his jaw as if to 
ease the pain. 

"I've a good mind to give you in charge," said I, 
suddenly realizing that I had the law on my side. 

"If you don't cash up," barked the hobo, "I'll 
call the cops and say you've grabbed my wad/' 

"Call away," I cried: "we'll see who'll be be- 
lieved." 

But the hobo knew a better trick. In a familiar 
wheedling voice he began again: 

"Come, young fellow, you'll never miss one dollar 
and I'll put you wise to a good many things here in 
Chicago. You had no business to pull out a wad like 
that in a lonely place to tempt a hungry man . . . ." 

"I was going to help you," I said hesitatingly. 

"I know," replied my weird acquaintance, "but I 
prefer to help myself," and he grinned. "Take me 
to a hash-house: I'm hungry and I'll put you wise to 
many things; you're a tenderfoot and show it." 

Clearly the hobo was the master of the situation 
and somehow or other his whole attitude stirred my 
curiosity. 

"Where are we to gof" I asked. "I don't know 
any restaurant near here except the Fremont House." 



LIFE IN CHICAGO. 119 

"Hell," cried the hobo, "only millionaires and 
fools go to hotels. I follow my nose for grub," and 
he turned on Ms heel and led the way without another 
word down a side street and into a German dive set 
out with bare wooden tables and sanded floor. 

Here he ordered hash and I, hot coffee and when 
I came to pay I was agreeably surprised to find that 
the bill was only forty cents and we could talk in our 
corner undisturbed as long as we liked. 

In ten minutes' chat the hobo had upset all my 
preconceived ideas and given me a host of new and in- 
teresting thoughts. He was a man of some reading if 
not of education and the violence of his language 
attracted me almost as much as the novelty of his 
point of view. 

All rich men were thieves, all workmen, sheep and 
fools, was his creed. The workmen did the work, 
created the wealth, and the employers robbed them 
of nine-tenths of the product of their labor and so got 
rich. It all seemed simple. The tramp never meant 
to work; he lived by begging and went wherever h.% 
wanted to go. 

"But how do you get about 1" I cried. 

"Here in the middle west," he replied, "I steal 
rides in freight cars and box-cars and on top of coal 
wagons, but in the real west and south I get inside 
the cars and ride, and when the conductor turns me 
off I wait for the next train. Life is full of happen- 
ings — some of 'em painful," he added, thoughtfully 
rubbing his jaw again. 

He appeared to be a tough little man whose on« 
object in life it was to avoid work and in spite of 
himself, he worked hard in order to do nothing. 

The experience had a warning, quickening effect 
on me. T resolved to save all T could. 



120 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

When I stood up to go the hobo grinned ami- 
cably : 

"I guess I've earned that dollar?" I could not 
help laughing. "I guess you have," I replied, but 
took care to turn aside as I stripped off the bill. 

"So long," said the tramp as we parted at the 
door and that was all the thanks I ever got. 

Another experience of this time told a sadder 
story. One evening a girl spoke to me ; she was fairly 
well-dressed and as we came under a gas-lamp I saw 
she was good looking with a tinge of nervous anxiety 
in her face. 

"I don't buy love," I warned her: "but how much 
do you generally get?" "From one dollar to five," 
she replied ; "but tonight I want as much as I can get." 

"I'll give you five," I replied; "but you must tell 
me all I want to know." 

"All right," she said eagerly, "I'll tell all I know: 
it's not much," she added bitterly; "I'm not twenty 
yet; but you'd have taken me for more, now wouldn't 
you?" "No," I replied, "you look about eighteen: in 
a few minutes we were climbing the stairs of a tene- 
ment house. The girl's room was poorly furnished 
and narrow, a hall bedroom just the width of the cor- 
ridor, perhaps six feet by eight. As soon as she had 
taken off her thick cloak and hat, she hastened out of 
the room saying she'd be back in a minute. In the 
silence, I thought I heard her running up the stairs; 
a baby somewhere near cried; and then silence again, 
till she opened the door, drew my head to her and 
kissed me: 

"I like you," she said, "though you're funny/' 

"Why funny?" I asked. 

"It's a scream," she said, "to give five dollars to 
a girl and never touch her: but I'm glad for I was 
tired tonight and anxious." 



LIFE IN CHICAGO. 121 

"Why anxious ?" I queried, "and why did you go 
out if you were tired 1" "Got to," she replied through 
tightly closed lips. "You don't mind if I leave you 
again for a moment ?" she added and before I could 
answer she was out of the room again. When she 
returned in five minutes I had grown impatient and 
put on my overcoat and hat. 

"Goinf" she asked in surprise: 

"Yes", I replied, "I don't like this empty cage 
while you go off to someone else." 

"Someone else" she repeated and then as if des- 
perate: "it's my baby if you must know: a friend 
takes care of her when I'm out or working." 

"Oh, you poor thing," I cried, "fancy you with 
a baby at this life!" 

"I wanted a baby", she cried defiantly. "I wouldn't 
be without her for anything! I always wanted a 
baby: there's lots of girls like that." 

"Eeallyf I cried astounded. 

"Do you know her father V I went on. 

"Of course I do," she retorted. "He's working 
in the stock yards; but he's tough and won't keep 
sober." 

"I suppose you'd marry him if he would go 
straight*?" I asked. 

"Any girl would marry a decent feller!" she 
replied. 

"You're pretty," I said. 

"D'ye think so?" she asked eagerly pushing her 
hair back from the sides of her head. "I used to be 
but now — this life — " and she shrugged her 
shoulders expressively. 

"You don't like it!" I asked. 

"No," she cried; "though when you get a nice 
feller, it's not so bad; but they're scarce," she went 
on bitterly, "and generally when they're nice, they've 



122 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

no bucks. The nice fellers are all poor or old," she 
added reflectively. 

I had had the best part of her wisdom, so I 
stripped off a five dollar bill and gave it to her. 
"Thanks," she said, "you're a dear and if you want 
to come an' see me any time, just come an' I'll try 
to give you a good time." — Away I went. I 
had had my first talk with a prostitute and in her 
room! The idea that a girl could want a baby was 
altogether new to me: her temptations very different 
from a boy's, very! 

For the greater part of my first year in Chicago 
I had no taste of love: I was often tempted by this 
chambermaid or that ; but I knew 1 should lose 
prestige if I yielded and I simply put it all out of my 
head resolvedly as I had abjured drink. But towards 
the beginning of the summer temptation came to me 
in a new guise. A Spanish family, named Vidal, 
stopped at the Fremont House. 

Senor Vidal was like a French officer, middle 
height, trim figure, very dark with grey moustache 
waving up at the ends. His wife, motherly but stout, 
with large dark eyes and small features; a cousin, a 
man of about thirty, rather tall with a small black 
moustache, like a tooth brush, I thought, and sharp 
imperious ways. At first I did not notice the girl 
who was talking to her Indian maid. I understood 
at once that the Vidals were rich and gave them 
the best rooms: "all communicating — except yours," 
I added, turning to the young man : "it is on the other 
side of the corridor, but large and quiet." A shrug 
and contemptuous nod was all I got for my pains 
from Senor Arriga. As I handed the keys to the 
bellboy, the girl threw back her black mantilla. 

"Any letters for usl" she asked quietly. For a 
minute I stood dumbfounded, enthralled, then "I'll 



LIFE IN CHICAGO. 123 

see," I muttered and went to the rack, but only to give 
myself a countenance — I knew there were none. 

"None, I'm sorry to say," I smiled watching the 
girl as she moved away. 

"What's the matter with me 1 ?" I said to myself 
angrily. "She's nothing wonderful, this Miss Vidal; 
pretty, yes, and dark with fine dark eyes, but nothing 
extraordinary." But it would not do; I was shaken 
in a new way and would not admit it even to myself. 
In fact the shock was so great that my head took 
sides against heart and temperament at once as if 
alarmed. "All Spaniards are dank," I said to myself, 
trying to depreciate the girl and so regain self-con- 
trol; "besides her nose is beaked a little." But there 
was no conviction in my criticizm. As soon as I re- 
called the proud grace of carriage and the magic of 
her glance, the fever-fit shook me again: for the first 
time my heart had been touched. 

Next day I found out that the Vidals had come 
from Spain and were on their way to their hacienda 
near Chihuahua in Northern Mexico. They meant 
to rest in Chicago for three or four days because 
Seiiora Yidal had heart trouble and couldn't stand 
much fatigue. I discovered besides that Seiior Arriga 
was either courting his cousin or betrothed to her and 
at once I sought to make myself agreeable to the man. 
Senor Arriga was a fine billiard player and I took 
the nearest way to his heart by reserving for him the 
best table, getting him a fair opponent and compli- 
menting him upon his skill. The next day Arriga 
opened his heart to me: "What is there to do in this 
dull hole? Did I know of any amusement? Any 
pretty women?" 

I could do nothing but pretend to sympathize and 
draw him out and this I easily accomplished, for 
Senor Arriga loved to boast of his name and position 



124 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

in Mexico and his conquests. "Ah, you should have 
seen her as I led her in the baile (dance) — an angel!" 
and he kissed his fingers gallantly. 

"As pretty as your cousin f I ventured. Sefior 
Arriga flashed a sharp suspicious glance at me, but 
apparently reassured by my frankness, went on: 

"In Mexico we never talk of members of our 
family," he warned: "The Seiiorita is pretty, of 
course, but very young; she has not the charm of 
experience, the caress of — I know so little Ameri- 
can, I find it difficult to explain." 

But I was satisfied. "He doesn't love her", I 
said to myself; "loves no one except himself." 

In a thousand little ways I took occasion to com- 
mend myself to the Vidals. Every afternoon they 
drove out and I took care they should have the best 
buggy and the best driver and was at pains to find 
out new and pretty drives, though goodness knows 
the choice was limited. The beauty of the girl grew 
on me in an extraordinary way: yet it was the pride 
and reserve in her face that fascinated me more even 
than her great dark eyes or fine features or splendid 
coloring. Her figure and walk were wonderful; I 
thought: I never dared to seek epithets for her eyes,, 
or mouth or neck. Her first appearance in evening 
dress was a revelation to me : she was my idol, enskied 
and sacred. 

It is to be presumed that the girl saw how it was 
with me and was gratified. She made no sign, be- 
trayed herself in no way, but her mother noticed that 
she was always eager to go downstairs to the lounge 
and missed no opportunity of making some inquiry 
at the desk. 

"I want to practice my English," the girl said once- 
and the mother smiled: "Los ojos, you mean your 
eyes, my dear," and added to herself: "But why nott 



LIFE IN CHICAGO. 125 

Youth — " and sighed for her own youth now fore- 
gone, and the petals already fallen. 

One little talk I got with my goddess: she came 
to the office to ask about reserving a Pullman draw- 
mg-room for El Paso. I undertook at once to see 
to everything, and when the dainty little lady added 
in her funny accent: "We have so many baggage, 
twenty-six bits;" I said as earnestly as if my life de- 
pended on it: 

"Please trust me. I shall see to everything. I 
only wish," I added, "I could do more for you." 

"That's kind," said the coquette: "very kind," 
looking full at me. Emboldened by despair at her 
approaching departure I added: "I'm so sorry you're 
going. I shall never forget you, never." 

Taken aback by my directness, the girl laughed 
saucih "Never means a week, I suppose." 

"You will see," I went on hurriedly as if driven, 
as indeed I was. "If I thought I should not see you 
again and soon, I should not wish to live." 

"A declaration", she laughed merrily, still looking 
me brightly in the face. 

"Not of independence," I cried, "but of — " as 
I hesitated between "affection" and "love" the girl 
put her finger to her lips. 

"Hush, hush," she said gravely, "you are too 
young to take vows and I must not listen", but seeing 
my face fall, she added: "You have been very kind. 
I shall remember my stay in Chicago with pleasure," 
and she stretched out her hand. I took it and held it 
treasuring every touch. 

Her look and the warmth of her fingers I gar- 
nered up in my heart as purest treasure. 

As soon as she had gone and the radiance with 
her, 1 cudgelled my brains to find some pretext for 
another talk. "She goes tomorrow," hammered in my 



126 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

brain and my heartache choked me, almost prevented 
my thinking. Suddenly the idea of flowers came to 
me. I'd buy a lot. No; everyone would notice them 
and talk. A few would be better. How many! I 
thought and thought. 

When they came into lounge next day ready 
to start I was watching my opportunity, but the girl 
gave me a better one than I could have picked. She 
waited till her father and Arriga had left the hall 
and then came over to the desk. 

"You have ze checks!" she asked. 

"Everything will be given you at the train," I 
said, "but I have these for you. Please accept them!" 
and I handed her three splendid red rosebuds, 
prettily tied up with maiden hair fern. 

"How kind!" she exclaimed, coloring, "and how 
pretty," she added, looking at the roses. "Just 
three!" 

"One for your hair," I said with love's cunning, 
"one for your eyes and one for your heart — will 
you remember!" I added in a low voice intensely. 

She nodded and then looked up sparkling: "As 
long — as ze flowers last," she laughed, and was back 
with her mother. 

I saw them into the omnibus and got kind words 
from all the party, even from Senor Arriga, but 
cherished most her look and word as she went out 
of the door. 

Holding it open for her, I murmured as she 
passed, for the others were within hearing: "I shall 
come soon." 

The girl stopped, at once, pretending to look at 
the tag on a trunk the porter was carrying. "El 
Paso is far away," she sighed, "and the hacienda ten 
leagues further on. When shall we arrive — when!" 
she added glancing up at me. 



LIFE IN CHICAGO. 127 

"When?" was the significant word to me for 
many a month; her eyes had filled it with meaning. 

I've told of this meeting with Miss Vidal at 
length, because it marked an epoch in my life; it was 
the first time that love had cast her glamor over me 
making beauty superlative, intoxicating. The passion 
rendered it easier for me to resist ordinary temp- 
tation, for it taught me there was a whole gorgeous 
world in Love's Kingdom that I had never imagined, 
much less explored. I had scarcely a lewd thought 
of Gloria. It was not till I saw her bared shoulders 
in evening dress that I stripped her in imagination 
and went almost wild in uncontrollable desire. 
Would she ever kiss me? What was she like un- 
dressed? My imagination was still untutored: I could 
picture her breasts better than her sex and I made 
up my mind to examine the next girl I was lucky 
enough to see naked, much more precisely. 

At the back of my mind was the fixed resolve to 
get to Chihuahua somehow or other in the near 
future and meet my charmer again and that resolve 
in due course shaped my life anew. 

In early June, that year, three strangers came 
to the Hotel, all cattlemen I was told, but of a new 
sort: Keece and Dell and Ford, the "Boss", as he was 
called. Reece was a tall dark Englishman or rather 
Welshman, always dressed in brown leather riding 
boots, Bedford Cord breeches and dark tweed cuta- 
way coat: he looked a prosperous gentleman farmer; 
Dell was almost a copy of him in clothes, about middle 
height and sturdier — in fact an ordinary English- 
man. The Boss was fully six feet, taller even than 
Reece with a hatchet-thin, bronzed face and eagle 
profile — evidently a Western cattle-man from head 
to foot. The headwaiter told me about them and as 

10 



128 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

soon as I saw them I had them transferred to a shady- 
cool table and saw that they were well waited on. 

A day or two afterwards we had made friends 
and a little later, Reece got me measured for two 
pairs of cord-breeches and had promised to teach 
me how to ride. They were cowpunchers, he said, 
with his strong English accent and were going down 
to the Eio Grande to buy cattle and drive 'em back 
to market here or in Kansas City. Cattle, it appeared, 
could be bought in South Texas for a dollar a head 
or less and fetched from fifteen to twenty dollars each 
in Chicago. 

"Of course we don't always get through unscath- 
ed" Reece remarked, "The Plain Indians — Chero- 
kees, Blackfeet and Sioux — take care of that; but 
one herd in two gets through and that pays big." 

I found they had brought up a thousand head of 
cattle from their ranche near Eureka, Kansas and 
a couple of hundred head of horses. 

To cut a long story short, Reece fascinated me: 
he told me that Chihuahua was the Mexican province 
just across the Rio Grande from Texas and at once, I 
resolved to go on the Trail with these cowpunchers 
if they'd take me. In two or three days Reece told 
me I shaped better at riding than anyone he had 
ever seen, though, he added "when I saw your thick 
short legs I thought you'd never make much of a 
hand at it." But I was strong and had grown nearly 
six inches in my year in the States and I turned in 
my toes as Reece directed and hung on to the English 
saddle by the grip of my knees till I was both tired 
and sore. In a fortnight Reece made me put five 
cent pieces between my knees and the saddle and 
keep them there when galloping or trotting. 

This practice soon made a rider of me so far as 
the seat was concerned and I had already learned that 



LIFE IN CHICAGO. 129 

Recce was a pastmaster in the deeper mysteries of 
the art for he told me he used to ride colts in the 
hunting field in England and "that's how you learn 
to know horses" he added significantly. 

One day I found out that Dell knew some poetry, 
literature too, and economics and that won me 
completely; when I asked them would they take me 
with them as a cowboy, they told me I'd have to ask 
the Boss, but there was no doubt he'd consent, and 
he consented, after one sharp glance. 

Then came my hardest task: I had to tell 
Kendrick and Mr. Cotton that I must leave. Thev 
were more than astonished: at first they took it to 
be a little trick to extort a rise in salary: when they 
saw it was sheer boyish adventure-lust they 
argued with me but finally gave in. I promised to 
return to them as soon as I got back to Chicago or 
got tired of cowpunching. I had nearly eighteen 
hundred dollars saved, which, by Mr. Cotton's advice, 
I transferred to a Kansas City bank he knew well. 

LIFE ON THE TRAIL. 

On the tenth of June, we took train to Kansas 
City, the Gate at that time of the "Wild West". In 
Kansas City I became aware of three more men 
belonging to the outfit: Bent, Charlie and Bob, the 
Mexican. Charlie, to begin with the least important, 
was a handsome American youth, blue-eyed and fair- 
haired, over six feet in height, very strong, careless, 
light-hearted: I always thought of him as a big, kind, 
Newfoundland dog, rather awkward but always well- 
meaning. Bent was ten years older, a war- veteran, 
dark, saturnine, purposeful; five feet nine or ten in 
height with muscles of whipcord and a mentality that 
was curiously difficult to fathom. Bob, the most 
peculiar and original man I had every met up to 

10* 



130 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

that time, was a little dried up Mexican, hardly five 
feet three in height, half Spaniard, half Indian, I 
believe, who might be thirty or fifty and who seldom 
opened his mouth except to curse all Americans 
in Spanish. Even Eeece admitted that Bob could ride 
"above a bit" and knew more about cattle than 
anyone else in his world. Reece's admiration 
directed my curiosity to the little man and I took 
every opportunity of talking to him and of giving 
him cigars — a courtesy so unusual that at first he 
was half inclined to resent it. 

It appeared that these three men had been left 
in Kansas City to dispose of another herd of cattle 
and to purchase stores needed at the ranch. They 
were all ready, so the next day we rode out of Kansas 
City, about four o'clock in the morning; our course 
roughly south by west. Everything was new and 
wonderful to me. In three days we had finished with 
roads and farmsteads and were on the open prairie; 
in two or three days more, the prairie became the 
great plains which stretched four or five thousand 
miles from north to south with a breadth of some 
seven hundred. The plains wore buffalo grass and 
sage-brush for a garment, and little else save in the 
river-bottoms, trees like the cottonwood; everywhere 
rabbits, prairie chicken, deer and buffalo abounded. 

We covered about thirty miles a day: Bob sat 
in the wagon and drove the four mules, while Bent 
and Charlie made us coffee and biscuits in the 
morning and cooked us sow-belly and any game 
we might bring in for dinner and supper. There was 
a small keg of rye whisky on the wagon; but we kept 
it for snake-bite or some emergency. 

I became the hunter to the outfit, for it was soon 
discovered that by some sixth sense I could always 
find my way back to the wagon on a bee-line, and 



LIFE ON THE TRAIL. 131 

only Bob of the whole party possessed the same 
instinct. Bob explained it by muttering "No 
Americano!" The instinct itself which has stood 
me in good stead more times than I can count, is in 
essence inexplicable: I feel the direction; but the vague 
feeling is strengthened by observing the path of the 
sun and the way the halms of grass lean, and the 
bushes grow. But it made me a valuable member of 
the outfit instead of a mere parasite midway between 
master and man, and it was the first step to Bob's 
liking which taught me more than all the other haps 
of my early life. I had bought a shotgun and and a 
Winchester rifle and revolver in Kansas City and 
Reece had taught me how to get weapons that would 
fit me and this fact helped to make me a fair shot 
almost at once. But soon to my grief I found that 
I would never be a great shot; for Bob and Charlie 
and even Dell could see things far beyond my range 
of vision. I was shortsighted in fact through 
astimatism and even glasses I discovered later, could 
not clear my blurred sight. 

It was the second or third disappointment of my 
life the others being the conviction of my personal 
ugliness and the fact that I should always be too 
short and small to be a great fighter or athlete. 

As I went on in life I discovered more serious 
disabilities but they only strengthened my deep- 
seated resolve to make the most of any qualities I 
might possess and meanwhile the life was divinely 
new and strange and pleasureful. 

After breakfast, about five o'clock in the 
morning, I would ride away from the wagon till it 
was out of sight and then abandon myself to the joy 
of solitude, with no boundary between plain and sky. 
The air was brisk and dry, as exhilarating as cham- 
pagne and even when the sun reached the zenith and 



132 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

became blazing hot, the air remained lightsome and 
invigorating. Mid Kansas is 2000 odd feet above sea- 
level and the air is so dry that an animal when killed, 
dries up without stinking and in a few months the 
hide's filled with mere dust. Game was plentiful, 
hardly an hour would elapse before I had got half 
a dozen ruffed grouse or a deer and then I would 
walk my pony back to the midday camp with perhaps 
a new wild flower in hand whose name I wished 

i 

to learn. 

After the midday meal I used to join Bob in the 
wagon and learn some Spanish words or phrases 
from him or question him about his knowledge of 
cattle. In the first week we became great friends: 
I found to my amusement that Bob was just as 
voluble in Spanish as he was tongue-tied in English, 
and his command of Spanish oaths, objurgations and 
indecencies was astounding. Bob despised all things 
American with an unimaginable ferocity and this 
interested me by its apparent unreason. 

Once or twice on the way down we had a race; 
but Reece on a big Kentucky thoroughbred called 
'Shiloh' won easily. He told me however, that there 
was a young mare called 'Blue Devil' at the ranch 
which was as fast as Shiloh and of rare stay and 
stamina: "You can have her, if you can ride her," 
he threw out carelessly and I determined to win the 
'Devil' if I could. 

In about ten days we reached the ranch near 
Eureka; it was set in five thousand acres of prairie, 
a big frame dwelling, that would hold twenty men; 
but it wasn't nearly so well-built as the great, brick 
stable, the pride of Reece's eye, which would house 
forty horses and provide half a dozen with good loose 
boxes besides, in the best English style. 



LIFE ON THE TRAIL. 133 

The house and stable were situated on a long 
billowy rise perhaps three hundred yards away from 
a good-sized creek which I soon christened Snake- 
Creek for snakes of all sorts and sizes simply 
swarmed in the brush and woodland of the banks. 
The big sitting room of the ranch was decorated with 
revolvers and rifles of a dozen different kinds and 
pictures, strange to say, cut out of the illustrated 
papers: the floor was covered with buffalo and bear 
rugs and rarer skins of mink and beaver hung here 
and there on the wooden walls. We got to the ranch 
late one night and I slept in a room with Dell, he 
taking the bed while I rolled myself in a rug on the 
couch. But I slept like a top and next morning was 
out before sunrise to take stock so to speak. An 
Indian lad showed me the stable and as luck would 
have it Blue Devil in a loose box, all to herself and 
very uneasy. 

"What's the matter with her!" I asked, and the 
Indian told me she had rubbed her ear raw where 
it joins the head and the flies had got on it and 
plagued her: I went to the house and got Peggy, the 
mulatto cook to fill a bucket with warm water and 
with this bucket and a sponge I entered the loose 
box: Blue Devil came for me and nipped my shoulder 
but as soon as 1 clapped the sponge with warm 
water on her ear, she stopped biting and we soon 
became friends. That same afternoon, I led her 
out in front of the ranch saddled and bridled, got on 
her and walked her off as quiet as a lamb. "She's 
yours!" said Reece; "but if she ever gets your foot 
in her mouth, you'll know what pain is!" 

It appeared that that was a little trick she had, 
to tug and tug at the reins till the rider let them go 
loose and then at once she would twist her head 
round, get the rider's toes in her mouth and bite like 



134 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

a fiend. No one she disliked could mount her; for 
she fought like a man with her fore- feet; but I never 
had any difficulty with her and she saved my life 
more than once. Like most feminine creatures she 
responded immediately to kindness and was faithful 
to affection. 

I'm compelled to notice that if I tell the other 
happenings in this eventful year at as great length 
as I've told the incidents of the fortnight that 
brought me from Chicago to the ranch at Eureka, 
I'd have to devote at least a volume to them, so I 
prefer to assure my readers that one of these days if I 
live, I'll publish my novel "On the Trail" which 
gives the whole story in great detail. Now I shall 
content myself with saying that two days after 
reaching the ranch we set out, ten men strong and 
two wagons filled with our clothes and provender and 
dragged by four mules each, to cover the twelve 
hundred miles to Southern Texas or New Mexico 
where we hoped to buy 5000 or 6000 head of cattle at 
a dollar a head and drive them to Kansas City, the 
nearest train point. 

When we got on the Great Trail a hundred miles 
from Port Dodge, the days passed in absolute 
monotony. After sunset a light breeze usually sprang 
up to make the night pleasantly cool and we would sit 
and chat about the camp-fire for an hour or two. 
Strange to say the talk usually turned to bawd or 
religion or the relations of capital and labor. It was 
curious how eagerly these rough cattle-men would 
often discuss the mysteries of this unintelligible 
world, and as a militant sceptic I soon got a 
reputation among them; for Dell usually backed me 
up and his knowledge of books and thinkers seemed 
to us extraordinary. 



LIFE ON THE TRAIL. 135 

These constant evening discussions, this perpetual 
arguing, had an unimaginable effect on me. I had no 
books with me and I was often called on to deal with 
two or three different theories in a night: I had to 
think out the problems for myself and usually I 
thought them out when hunting by myself in the 
daytime. It was as a cowpuncher that I taught myself 
how to think: — a rare art among men and seldom 
practised. Whatever originality I possess comes from 
the fact that in youth, while my mind was in process 
of growth, I was confronted with important modern 
problems and forced to think them out for myself 
and find some reasonable answer to the questionings 
of half a dozen different minds. 

For example, Bent asked one night what the 
proper wage should be of the ordinary workman 1 I 
could only answer that the workman's wage should 
increase at least in measure as the productivity of 
labor increased; but I could not then see how to 
approach this ideal settlement. When I read Herbert 
Spencer ten years later in Germany, I was delighted 
to find that I had divined the best of his sociology 
and added to it materially. His idea that the amount 
of individual liberty in a country depends on "the 
pressure from the outside", I knew to be only half- 
true. Pressure from the outside is one factor but 
not even the most important: the centripetal force 
in the society itself is often much more powerful: 
how else can one explain the fact that during the 
world-war, liberty almost disappeared in these 
States in spite of the First Amendment to the 
Constitution. At all times indeed there is much 
less regard for liberty here than in England or even 
in Germany or in France: one has only to think of 
prohibition to admit this. The pull towards the 
centre in every country is in direct proportion to 



136 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

the mass and accordingly the herd-feeling in America 
is unreasonably strong. 

If we were not arguing or telling smutty stories, 
Bent would be sure to get out cards and the gambling 
instinct would keep the boys busy till the stars paled 
in the eastern sky. 

One incident I must relate here, for it broke the 
monotony of the routine in a curious way. 

Our fire at night was made up of buffalo "chips" 
as the dried excrement was called, and Peggy had 
asked me, as I got up the earliest, always to replenish 
the fire before riding away. One morning I picked 
up a chip with my left hand and as luck would have 
it, disturbed a little prairie rattlesnake that had been 
attracted probably by the, heat of the camp-fire. As 
I lifted the chip, the snake struck me on the back 
of my thumb, then coiled up in a flash and began to 
rattle. Angered I put my right foot on him and 
killed him, and at the same moment bit out the place 
on my thumb where I had been stung, and then, still 
unsatisfied, rubbed my thumb in the red embers, 
especially above the wound. I paid little further 
attention to the matter; it seemed to me that the 
snake was too small to be very poisonous; but on 
returning to the wagon to wake Peggy, he cried out 
and called the Boss and Reece and Dell and was 
manifestly greatly perturbed and even anxious. 
Reece too agreed with him that the bite of the little 
prairie rattlesnake was just as venomous as that of 
his big brother of the woods. 

The Boss produced a glass of whisky and told 
me to drink it: I didn't want to take it; but he 
insisted and I drank it off. "Did it burn?" he asked: 
"No, 'twas just like water!" I replied and noticed 
that the Boss and Reece exchanged a meaning look. 

At once the Boss declared I must walk up and 



LIFE ON THE TRAIL. 137 

down and each taking an arm they walked me 
solemnly round and round for half an hour. At the 
end of that time I was half asleep; the Boss stopped 
and gave me another jorum of whisky: for a moment 
it awakened me, then I began to get numb again and 
deaf. Again they gave me whisky: I revived but 
in five minutes I sagged down and begged them to 
let me sleep. 

"Sleep be d d!" cried the Boss, "you'd never 

wake. Pull yourself together," and again I was 
given whisky. Then, dimly I began to realise that 
I must use my will power and so I started to jump 
about and shake off the overpowering drowsiness. 
Another two or three drinks of whisky and much 
frisking about occupied the next couple of hours, 
when suddenly I became aware of a sharp, intense 
pang of pain in my left thumb. 

"Now you can sleep," said the Boss, "if you're 
minded to; I guess whisky has wiped out the rattler!" 

The pain in my burnt thumb was acute: I found 
too I had a headache for the first time in my life. 
But Peggy gave me hot water to drink and the 
headache soon disappeared. In a day or two I was 
as well as ever, thanks, to the vigorous regimen of 
the Boss; in the course of a single year we lost two 
young men just through the little prairie snakes that 
seemed so insignificant. 

The days passed quickly till we came near the 
first towns in southern Texas: then every man 
wanted his arrears of salary from the Boss and 
proceeded to shave and doll up in wildest excitement. 
Charlies was like a madman. Half an hour after 
reaching the chief saloon in the town, everyone of 
them save Bent was crazy drunk and intent on 
finding some girl with whom to spend the night. 
I didn't even go to the saloon with them and begged 



138 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Charlie in vain not to play the fool. "That's what I 
live for", he shouted, and raced off. 

I had got accustomed to spend all my spare time 
with Keece, Dell, Bob or the Boss, and from all of 
them I learned a good deal. In a short time I had 
exhausted the Boss and Reece; but Dell and Bob 
each in his own way was richly equipped, and while 
Dell introduced me to literature and economics, Bob 
taught me some of the mysteries of cow-punching and 
the peculiar morals of Texan cattle. Every little 
herd of those half-wild animals had its own leader, 
it appeared and followed him fanatically. When we 
brought together a few different bunches in our 
corral, there was confusion worse confounded till 
after much hooking and some fighting a new leader 
would be chosen whom all would obey. But some- 
times we lost five or six animals in the mellay. I 
found that Bob could ride his pony in among the 
half-savage brutes and pick out the future leader for 
them. Indeed, at the great sports held near Taos, 
he went in on foot where many herds had been 
corralled and led out the leader amid the triumphant 
cheers of his compatriots who challenged los 
Americanos to emulate that feat. Bob's knowledge 
of cattle was uncanny and all I know I learned 
from him. 

For the first week or so, Reece and the Boss were 
out all day buying cattle; Reece would generally take 
Charlie and Jack Freeman, young Americans, to 
drive his purchases home to the big corral; while the 
Boss called indifferently first on one and then on 
-another to help him. Charlie was the first to lay 
off: he had caught a venereal disease, the very first 
night and had to lie up for more than a month. One 
after the other, all the younger men fell to the same 
plague. I went into the nearest town and consulted 



LIFE ON THE TRAIL. 139 

doctors and did what I could for them; but the cure 
was often slow for they would drink now and again 
to drown care and several in this way, made the 
disease chronic. I could never understand the tempta- 
tion; to get drunk was bad enough; but in that state 
to go with some dirty Greaser woman, or half-breed 
prostitute was incomprehensible to me. 

Naturally I enquired about the Vidals; but no 
one seemed to have heard of them and though I did 
my best, the weeks passed without my finding a trace 
of them. I wrote, however, to the address Gloria 
had given me before leaving Chicago so that I might 
be able to forward any letters; but I had left Texas 
before I heard from her: indeed her letter reached me 
in the Fremont House when I got back to Chicago. 
She simply told me that they had crossed the Rio 
Grande and had settled in their hacienda on the 
other side, where perhaps, she added coyly, I would 
pay them a visit some day. I wrote thanking her 
and assuring her that her memory transfigured the 
world for me — which was the bare truth: I took 
infinite pains to put this letter into good Spanish 
though I fear that in spite of Bob's assistance it had 
a dozen faults. But I'm outrunning my story. 

Rapidly the herd was got together. Early in 
July we started northwards driving before us some 
6000 head of cattle which certainly hadn't cost five 
thousand dollars. That first year everything went 
well with us; we only saw small bands of Plain 
Indians and we were too strong for them. The Boss 
had allowed me to bring 500 head of cattle on my own 
account: he wished to reward me, he said, for my 
incessant hard work; but I was sure it was Reece 
and Dell who put the idea into his head. 

The fact that some of the cattle were mine made 
me a most watchful and indefatigable herdsman. 



140 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

More than once my vigilances sharpened by Bob's 
instinct, made a difference to our fortunes. When 
we began to skirt the Indian Territery, Bob warned 
me that a small band or even a single Indian might 
try some night to stampede the herd. About a week 
later, I noticed that the cattle were uneasy: 
"Indians!" said Bob when I told him the signs, 
"cunning beasts!" That night I was off duty, but 
was on horseback circling round as usual, when 
about midnight, I saw a white figure leap from the 
ground with an unearthly yell. The cattle began to 
run together so I threw my rifle up and fired at the 
Indian and though I didn't hit him, he thought it 
better to drop the sheet and decamp. In five minutes 
we had pacified the cattle again and nothing unfor- 
tunate happened that night or indeed till we reached 
Wichita which was then the outpost of civ- 
ilization. In ten days more we were in 
Kansas City entraining, though we sold a 
fourth of our cattle there at about fifteen dollars 
a head. We reached Chicago about the first of 
October and put the cattle in the yards about the 
Michigan St. Depot. Next day we sold more than 
half the herd and I was lucky enough to get a 
purchaser at fifteen dollars a head for three 
hundred of my beasts. If it hadn't been for 
the Boss who held out for three cents a pound, 
I should have sold all I had. As it was I came out 
with more than five thousand dollars in the Bank and 
felt myself another Croesus. My joy, however, was 
shortlived. 

Of course I stayed in the Fremont, and was 
excellently received. The management had slipped 
back a good deal, I thought, but I was glad that I 
was no longer responsible and could take my ease in 
my inn. But my six months on the Trail had marked 



LIFE ON THE TRAIL. 



141 



my very being. It made a workman of me and above 
all, it taught me that tense resolution, will-power 
was the most important factor of success in life. I 
made up my mind to train my will by exercise as I 
would train a musele and each day I proposed to my- 
self a new test. For example I liked potatoes so I 
resolved not to eat one for a week, or again I fore- 
swore coffee that I loved, for a month, and I was care- 
ful to keep to my determination. I had noticed a 
French saying that intensified my decision, celui qui 
veut, celui- la, peut: — 'he who wills, can.' My mind 
should govern me, not my appetites, I decided. 




THE GREAT FIRE OF CHICAGO. 

Chapter VII. 

J wish I could persuade myself that I was capable 
of picturing the events of the week after we 
reached Chicago. 

We arrived, if I remember rightly, on a Wednes- 
day and put our cattle and horses in the stockyards 
near the Michigan Street depot. As I have related, 
we sold on Thurday and Friday about three-fifths of 
the cattle. I wanted to sell all, but followed the judg- 
ment of the Boss and sold three hundred head and 
put a little over fiwe thousand dollars in my banking 
account. 

On Saturday night the alarm bells began to ring 
and awoke me. I slipped into my breeches, shirt and 
boots and a youthful curiosity exciting me, I raced 
down-stairs, got Blue Devil from the stable and rode 
out to the fire. I was infinitely impressed by the rap- 
idity with which the firemen acted and the marvel- 
lous efficiency of the service. Where in England 
there would have been perhaps half a dozen fire- 
engines, the Americans sent fifty, but they all found 
work and did it magnificently. At one o'clock the fire 
was out and I returned to the hotel through two or 
three miles of uninjured streets. Of course, I told 
Keece and Ford all about it the next day. To my 
astonishment, no one seemed to pay much attention; 



THE GREAT FIRE OF CHICAGO. 143 

a lire was so common a thing in the wooden shanties 
on the outskirts of American towns that nobody cared 
to listen to my epic. 

Next night, Sunday, the alarm bell began ringing 
about eleven o'clock: I was still dressed in my best. 
I changed into my working clothes, I do not know 
why, put my belt about me with a revolver in it and 
again took out the mare and rode to the fire. When 
still a quarter of a mile away, I realized that this fire 
was much more serious than that of the previous 
night: first of all, a gale of wind was blowing right 
down on the town. Then, when I wondered why 
there were so few fire-engines, I was told that there 
were two other fires and the man with whom I talked 
did not scruple to ascribe them to a plot and determi- 
nation to burn down the town! "Them damned for- 
eign anarchists are at the bottom of it," he said, 
"three fires do not start on the very outskirts of the 
town with a gale of wind blowing, without some 
reason." 

And indeed, it looked as if he were right. In 
spite of all the firemen could do, the fire spread with 
incredible rapidity. In half an hour I saw they were 
not going to master it soon or easily and I rode back 
to get Reece, who had told me that he would have 
come with me the previous night if he had known 
where the fire was. When I got back to the hotels 
Reece had gone out on his own and so had Dell and 
the Boss. I went back to the fire. It had caught on 
in the most extraordinary way. The wooden streets 
now were all blazing; the fire was swallowing block 
after block and the heat was so tremendous that the 
fire-engines could not get within two hundred yards 
of the blaze. The roar of the fire was unearthly. 

Another thing I noticed almost immediately: the 
heat was so terrific that the water decomposed into its 



144 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

elements and the oxygen gas in the water burned 
vehemently on its own account. The water, in fact, 
added fuel to the flames. As soon as I made sure of 
this, I saw that the town was doomed and walked my 
pony back a block or two to avoid flying sparks. 

This must have been about three or four o'clock 
in the morning. I had gone back about three blocks 
when I came across a man talking to a group of men 
at the corner of a street. He was the one man of in- 
sight and sense I met that night. He seemed to me a 
typical, down-east Yankee: he certainly talked like 
one. The gist of his speech was as follows: 

"I want you men to come with me right now to 
the Mayor and tell him to give orders to blow up at 
least two blocks deep all along this side of the town; 
then, if we drench the houses on the other side, the 
flames will be stopped : there's no other way." 

"That's sense", I cried, "that's what ought to be 
done at once. There's no other way of salvation; for 
the heat is disintegrating the water and the oxygen in 
the water is blazing fiercely, adding fuel to the 
flames." 

"Gee! that's what I have been preaching for the 
last hour", he cried. 

A little later fifty or sixty citizens went to the 
Mayor, but he protested that he had no power to 
blow up houses and evidently, too, shirked the respon 
sibility. He decided, however, to call in some of the 
councilmen and see what could be done. Meanwhile 
I went off and wandered towards the Randolph Street 
bridge and there saw a scene that appalled me. 

Some men had caught a thief, they said, plunder- 
ing one of the houses and they proceeded to string 
the poor wretch up to a lamp-post. 

In vain I pleaded for his life, declared that he 
ought to be tried, that it was better to let off ten 



THE GREAT FIRE OF CHICAGO. 145 

guilty men than hang one innocent one, but my for- 
eign accent robbed my appeal, I think, of any weight 
and before my eyes the man was strung up. It filled 
me with rage; it seemed to me a dreadful thing to 
have done: the cruelty of the executioners, the hard 
purpose of them, shut me away from my kin. Later I 
was to see these men from a better angle. 

By the early morning the fire had destroyed over 
a mile deep of the town and was raging with un- 
imaginable fury. I went down on the lakeshore just 
before daybreak. The scene was one of indescribable 
magnificence: there were probably a hundred and 
fifty thousand homeless men, women and children 
grouped along the lake shore. Behind us roared the 
fire; it spread like a red sheet right up to the zenith 
above our heads, and from there was borne over the 
sky in front of us by long streamers of fire like 
rockets: vessels four hundred yards out in the bay 
were burning fiercely, and we were, so to speak, roofed 
and walled by flame. The danger and uproar were 
indeed terrifying and the heat, even in this October 
night, almost unbearable. 

I wandered along the lake shore, noting the kind 
way in which the men took care of the women and 
children. Nearly every man was able to erect some 
sort of shelter for his wife and babies, and everyone 
was willing to help his neighbor. While working at 
one shelter for a little while, I said to the man i 
wished I could get a drink. 

"You can get one", he said, "right there", and he 
pointed to a sort of makeshift shanty on the beach. 
I went over and found that a publican had managed 
to get four barrels down on the beach and had rigged 
up a sort of low tent above them; on one of the bar- 
rels he had nailed his shingle, and painted on it were 
the words, "What do you think of our hell? No 

n* 



146 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

drinks less than a dollar!" The wild humor of the 
thing amused me infinitely and the man certainly did 
a roaring trade. 

A little later it occurred to me that our cattle 
might possibly burn, so I went out and hurried back 
to the Michigan Street stockyards. An old Irishman 
was in charge of the yard, but though he knew me per- 
fectly well, he refused to let me take out a steer. The 
cattle were moving about wildly, evidently in a state 
of intense excitement. I pleaded with the man and 
begged him, and at length tied my mare up to the 
lamp-post at the corner and went back and got into 
the stockyard when he wasn't looking. I let down 
two or three of the bars and the next moment started 
the cattle through the opening. They went crazy wild 
and choked the gateway. In five minutes there were 
ten or twelve dead cattle in the entrance and the rest 
had to go over them. Suddenly, just as I got through 
the gap, the mad beasts made a rush and carried away 
the rails on both sides of the gateway. The next 
moment I was knocked down and I had just time to 
drag myself through the fence and so avoid their 
myriad trampling heels. 

A few minutes later, I was on Blue Devil, trying 
to get the cattle out of the town and on to the prairie. 
The herd broke up at almost every corner but I mana- 
ged to get about six hundred head right out into the 
country. 

I drove them on the dead run for some miles. By 
this time it was daybreak and at the second or third 
farmhouse I came to, I found a farmer willing to take 
in the cattle. I bargained with him a little and at 
length told him I would give him a dollar a head if 
he kept them for the week or so we might want to 
leave them with him. In two minutes he brought out 
his son and an Irish helper and turned the cattle bacJi 



THE GREAT FIRE OF CHICAGO. 147 

and into his pasture. There were six hundred and 
seventy-six of them, as near as I could count, out of 
practically two thousand head. 

By the time I had finished the business and re- 
turned to the hotel, it was almost noon and as I could 
get nothing to eat, I wandered out again to see the 
progress of the fire. Already I found that relief 
trains were being sent in with food from all neigh- 
boring towns and this was the feature of the next 
week in starving Chicago. 

Strangely enough, at that time the idea was gen- 
erally accepted that a man or woman could only live 
three days without food. It was years before Dr. 
Tanner showed the world that a man could fast for 
forty days or more. Everyone I met acted as if he 
believed that if he were fully three days without food, 
he must die incontinently. I laughed at the idea 
which seemed to me absurd, but so strong was the 
universal opinion and the influence of the herd-sen- 
timent, that on the third day I too felt particularly 
empty and thought I had better take my place in the 
bread line. There were perhaps five thousand in front 
of me and there were soon fifty or sixty thousand be- 
hind me. We were five deep moving to the depot 
where the bread trains were discharging, one after 
the other. When I got pretty close to the food 
wagons, I noticed that the food supply was coming 
to an end, and next moment I noticed something else. 

Again and again women and girls came into our 
bread line and walked through the lines of waiting 
men, who, mark you, really believed they were going 
to die that night if they could not get food, but in- 
stead of objecting they one and all made way for the 
women and girls and encouraged them: "Go right on, 
Madam, take all you want:" "This way, Missee, you 
won't be able to carry much, I'm afraid"; — proof on 



148 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

proof, it seemed to me, of courage, good humor and 
high self-abnegation. I wenfinto that bread line an 
Irish boy and came out of it a proud American, but 
I did not get any bread that night or the next. In 
fact, my first meal was made when I ran across Reece 
on the Friday or Saturday after: Reece, as usual, had 
fallen on his feet and found a hotel where they had 
provisions — though at famine prices. 

He insisted that I should come with him and soon 
got me my first meal. In return, I told him and Ford 
of the cattle I had saved. They were, of course, de- 
lighted and determined next day to come out and 
retrieve them. "One thing is certain," said Ford, 
six hundred head of cattle are worth as much today 
in Chicago as fifteen hundred head were worth before 
the fire, so we hain't lost much." 

Next day I led Reece and the Boss straight to 
the farmer's place, but to my surprise he told me that 
I had agreed to give him two dollars a head, whereas 
I had bargained with him for only one dollar. His 
son backed up the farmer's statement and the Irish 
helper declared that he was sorry to disagree with me, 
but I was mistaken; it was two dollars I had said. 
They little knew the sort of men they had to deal 
with. "Where are the cattle?" Ford asked, and we 
went down to the pasture where they were penned. 
"Count them, Harris," said Ford, and I counted six 
hundred and twenty head. Fifty odd had disappeared, 
but the farmer wanted to persuade me that I had 
counted wrongly. 

Ford went about and soon found a rough lean-to 
stable where there were thirty more head of Texan 
cattle. These were driven up and soon disappeared 
in the herd; Reece and I began to move the herd to- 
wards the entrance. The farmer declared he would 
not let us go, but Ford looked at him a little while 



THE GREAT FIRE OF CHICAGO. 149 

and then said very quietly, "You have stolen enough 
cattle to pay you. If you bother with us, I will make 
meat of you — see! — cold meat", and the farmer 
moved aside and kept quiet. 

That night we had a great feast and the day after 
Ford announced that he had sold the whole of the 
cattle to two hotel proprietors and got nearly as much 
money as if we had not lost a hoof. 

My five thousand dollars became six thousand, 
five hundred. 

The courage shown by the common people in the 
fire, the wild humor coupled with the consideration 
for the women, had won my heart. This ,is the 
greatest people in the world, I said to myself, and 
was proud to feel at one with them. 



ON THE TRAIL! 

Chapter VIII. 

F) romp ted by Dell, before leaving Chicago I bought 
* some books for the winter evenings, notably 
Mill's "Political Economy"; Carlyle's "Heroes and 
Hero Worship" and "Latter Day Pamphlets"; Col. 
Hay's "Dialect Poems", too and three medical books, 
and took them down with me to the ranch. We had 
six weeks of fine weather, during which I broke in 
horses under Reece's supervision, and found out that 
gentleness and especially carrots and pieces of sugar 
were the direct way to the heart of the horse; dis- 
covered, too, that a horse's bad temper and obstinacy 
were nearly always due to fear. A remark of Dell 
that a horse's eye had a magnifying power and that 
the poor, timid creatures saw men as trees walking, 
gave me the clue and soon I was gratified by Reece 
saying that I could "gentle" horses as well as aryone 
on the ranch, excepting Bob. 

As winter drew down and the bitter frost came, 
outdoor work almost ceased. I read from morning 
till night and not only devoured Mill, but saw through 
the fallacy of his Wage-Fund theory. I knew from 
my own experience that the wages of labor depended 
primarily on the productivity of labor. I liked Mill 
for his humanitarian sympathies with the poor; but 
T realized clearly that he was a second-rate intellig- 



ON THE TRAIL. 151 

ence, just as I felt pretty sure that Carlyle was one 
of the Immortals. I took Carlyle in small doses, for 
I wanted to think for myself. After the first chapters 
I tried to put down first, chapter by chapter, what I 
thought or knew about the subject treated, and am 
still inclined to believe that that is a good way to read 
in order to estimate what the author has taught 
you. 

Carlyle was the first dominant influence in my 
life and one of the most important: I got more from 
him than from any other writer. His two or three 
books learned almost by heart, taught me that Dell's 
knowledge was skimpy and superficial and I was soon 
Sir Oracle among the men on all deep subjects. For 
the medical books, too, turned out to be excellent and 
gave me almost the latest knowledge on all sex-mat- 
ters. I was delighted to put all my knowledge at the 
disposal of the boys, or rather to show off to them 
how much I knew. 

That fall brought me to grief: early in October I 
was taken by ague ; "chills and fever" as it was called- 
I suffered miseries and though Reece induced me to 
ride all the same and spend most of the daytime in 
the open, I lost weight till I learned that arsenic was 
a better specific even than quinine. Then I began to 
mend, but, off and on, every fall and spring after- 
wards, so long as I stayed in America, I had to take 
quinine and arsenic toward off the debilitating attacks. 

I was very low indeed when we started down on 
the Trail; the Boss being determined, as he said, to 
bring up two herds that summer. Early in May he 
started north from near St. Anton' with some five 
thousand head, leaving Reece, Dell, Bob, Peggy the 
cook, Bent, Charlie and myself to collect another herd. 
I never saw the Boss again; understood, however, 
from Reece's cursing that he had got through safely, 



152 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

sold the cattle at a good price and made off with all 
the proceeds, though he owed Keece and Dell more 
than one-half. 

Charlie's love-adventure that ended so badly 
didn't quiet him for long. In our search for cheap 
cattle we had gone down nearly to the Rio Grande 
and there, in a little half- Mexican town, Charlie met 
his fate. 

As it so happened, I had gone to the saloon with 
him on his promise that he would only drink one glass, 
and though the glass would be full of forty-rod 
whisky, I knew it would have only a passing effect 
on Charlie's superb strength. But it excited him 
enough to make him call up all the girls for a drink: 
they all streamed laughing to the bar, all save one. 
Naturally Charlie went after her and found a very 
pretty blond girl, who had a strain of Indian blood 
in her, it was said. At first she didn't yield to 
Charlie's invitation, so he turned away angrily, 
saying : 

"You don't want to drink probably because you 
want to cure yourself or because you're ugly where 
women are usually beautiful". Answering the 
challenge the girl sprang to her feet, tore off her 
jacket and in a moment was naked to her boots and 
stockings. 

"Am I ugly?" she cried, pushing out her breasts, 
"or do I look ill, you fool!" and whirled around to 
give us the back view! 

She certainly had a lovely figure with fair youth- 
ful breasts and peculiarly full bottom and looked the 
picture of health. The full cheeks of her behind 
excited me intensely, I didn't know why: therefore, it 
didn't surprise me when Charlie, with a half-articulate 
shout of admiration, picked her up bodily in his arms 
and carried her out of the room. 



ON THE TRAIL. 153 

When I remonstrated with him afterwards, he 
told me he had a sure way of knowing whether the 
girl, Sue, was diseased or not. 

I contradicted Mm and found that this was his 
infallible test: as soon as he was alone with a girl r 
he pulled out ten or twenty dollars, as the case might 
be, and told her to keep the money. "I'll not give 
you more in any case", he would add: "now tell me, 
dear, if you are ill and we'll have a last drink and 
then I'll go. If she's ill, she's sure to tell you — 
see!" and he laughed triumphantly. 

"Suppose she doesn't know she's ill?" I asked: 
but he replied: "they always know and they'll tell 
the truth when their greed is not against you". 

For some time it looked as if Charlie had enjoyed 
his Beauty without any evil consequences, but a 
month or so later he noticed a lump in his right groin 
and soon afterwards a syphilitic sore showed itself 
just under the head of his penis. We had already 
started northwards, but I had to tell Charlie the plain 
truth. 

"Then it's serious", he cried in astonishment, and 
I replied. 

"I'm afraid so, but not if you take it in time 
and go under a rigorous regimen". 

Charlie did everything he was told to do and 
always bragged that gonorrhea was much worse, as 
it is certainly more painful, than syphilis; but the 
disease in time had its revenge. 

As he began to get better on the Trail, thanks to 
the good air, regular exercise and absence of drink, 
he became obstreperous from time to time and I at 
any rate forgot about his ailment. 

The defection of the Boss made a serious 
difference to us; Reece and Dell with three or four 
Mexicans and Peggy went on slowly buying cattle; 



iu4 Ml LIFE AiNiD LOVES. 

but Bob and Bent put a new scheme into my head. 
Bent was always preaching that the Boss's defection 
had ruined Keece and that if I would put in, say five 
thousand dollars, I could be Keeee's partner and make 
a fortune with him. Bob, too, was keen on this and 
told me incidentally that he could get cattle from the 
Mexicans for nothing. I had a talk with Keece who 
said he'd have to be content with buying 3000 head 
for cattle had gone up in price twofold and the Boss's 
swindle had crippled him. If I would pay Bent's, 
Charlie's and Bob's wages, he'd be delighted, he said, 
to join forces with me: on Bob's advice, I consented 
and with his help, I managed to secure three thousand 
head for little more than three thousand dollars. And 
this is how we managed it. 

For some reason or other, perhaps, because I had 
learnt a few words of Spanish, Bob had taken a fancy 
to me and was always willing to help me except when 
he was mad with drink. He now assured me that if 
I would go with him down the Eio Grande a hundred 
miles or so, he'd get me a thousand head of cattle for 
nothing. I consented, for Bent, too, and Charlie, were 
on Bob's side. 

The next morning before sunrise we started out 
and rode steadily to the southeast. We carried enough 
food for two or three days. Bob saw to that without 
any question, but generally he brought us about eight 
o'clock near some house or other where we could get 
food and shelter. His knowledge of the whole frontier 
was as uncanny as his knowledge of cattle. 

On the fourth or fifth day about nine in the morn- 
ing he stopped us by a little wooded height looking 
over a gorge of the river. To the left the river spread 
out almost to a shallow lake, and one did not need to 
be told that a little lower down there must be one or 



ON THE TRAIL. 155 

more fords where cattle could cross almost without 
wetting themselves. 

Bob got off his horse in a clump of Cottonwood 
trees which he said was a good place to camp without 
being seen. I asked him where the cattle were and he 
told me "across the river". Within two or three miles, 
it appeared, there was a famous hacienda with great 
herds. As soon as it got dark he proposed to go across 
and find out all about it and bring us the news. We 
were to be careful not to be seen and he hoped that 
we would not even make a fire but lie close till he re- 
turned. 

We were more than willing, and when we got 
tired of talking Bent produced an old deck of cards 
and we would play draw poker or euchre or casino for 
two or three hours. The first night passed quickly 
enough. We had been in the saddle for ten hours a 
day for four or five days and slept a dreamless sleep. 
Bob did not return that day or the next and on the 
third day Bent began to curse him, but I felt sure he 
had good reason for the delay and so waited with 
what patience I could muster. On the third night he 
was suddenly with us just as if he had come out of 
the earth. 

"Welcome back", I cried. "Everything right V 

"Everything", he said: "It was no good coming 
sooner; they have brought some cattle within four 
miles of the river; the orders are to keep 'em away 
seven or eight miles, so that they could not be driven 
across without rousing the whole country; but Don 
Jose is very rich and carefree and there is a herd of 
fifteen hundred that will suit us not three miles from 
the river in a fold of the prairie guarded only by two 
men whom I'll make so very drunk that they'll hear 
nothing till next morning. A couple of bottles of 



156 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

aguardiente will do the bizness, and I'll come back 
for you tomorrow night by eight or nine o'clock." 

It all turned out as Bob had arranged. The next 
night he came to us as soon as it was dark. We rode 
some two miles down the river to a ford, splashed 
through the rivulets of water and came out on the 
Mexican side. In single file and complete silence we 
followed Bob at a lope for perhaps twenty minutes 
when he put up his hand and we drew down to a walk. 
There below us between two waves of prairie were 
the cattle. 

In a few words Bob told Bent and Charlie what 
they were to do. Bent was to stay behind and shoot 
in case we were followed — unlikely but always pos- 
sible. Charlie and I were to move the cattle towards 
the ford, quietly all the way if we could, but if we 
were pursued, then as hard as we could drive them. 

For the first half hour all went according to pro- 
gram. Charlie and I moved the cattle together and 
drove them over the waves of prairie towards the 
river; it all seemed as easy as eating and we had 
begun to push the cattle into a fast walk when sud- 
denly there was a shot in front and a sort of stampede! 

At once Charlie shot out on the left as I shot out 
on the right and using our whips, we quickly got the 
herd into motion again, the rear ranks forcing the 
front ones on; the cattle were soon pressed into a 
shuffling trot and the difficulty seemed overcome. Just 
at that moment I saw two or three bright flames half 
a mile away on the other side of Charlie and suddenly 
I heard the zipp of a bullet pass my own head and 
turning, saw pretty plainly a man riding fifty yards 
away from me. I took very careful aim at his horse 
and fired and was delighted to see horse and man come 
down and disappear. I paid no further attention to 
Jiim and kept on forcing the pace of the cattle. But 



ON THE TRAIL. 157 

Charlie was very busily engaged for two or three min- 
utes because the fusilade was kept up from behind 
till he was joined by Bent and shortly afterwards by 
Bob. We were all now driving the cattle as hard as 
they could go, straight towards the ford. The shots 
behind us continued and even grew more frequent, but 
we were not further molested till three quarters of an 
hour later we reached the Rio Grande and began 
urging the cattle across the ford. There progress was 
necessarily slow. We could scarcely have got across 
had it not been that about the middle Bob came up 
and made his whip and voice a perfect terror to the 
beasts in the rear. 

When we got them out on the other side I began 
to turn them westwards towards our wooded knoll, 
but the next moment Bob was beside me shouting — 
"Straight ahead, straight ahead; they are following 
us and we shall have to fight. You get on with the 
herd always straight north and I'll bring Charlie back 
to the bank so as to hold 'em off." 

Boylike, I said I would rather go and fight, but 
he said: "You go on. If Charlie killed, no matter. I 
want you." And I had perforce to do what the little 
devil ordered. 

When Texan cattle have been brought up together 
the largest herd can be driven like a small bunch. 
They have their leader and they follow him religiously 
and so one man can drive a thousand head with very 
little trouble. 

For two or three miles I kept them on the trot 
and then I let them gradually get down to a walk. I 
did not want to lose any more of them; some fat cows 
had already died in their tracks through being driven 
so fast. 

About two o'clock in the morning I passed a log- 
bouse and soon an American rode up beside me and 



158 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

wanted to know who I was, where I had brought the 
cattle from and where I was going*? I told him the 
owner was behind me, and the boys and I were driving 
them straight ahead because some greasers had been 
interfering with us. 

"That's the shooting I heard", he said. "You have 
driven them across the river: haven't you?" 

"I've driven them from the river," I replied; 
"some of them were getting a drink." 

I could feel him grin though I was not looking 
at him. 

"I guess I'll see your friends pretty soon," he said, 
"but this raiding is bad business. Them greasers '11 
come across and give me trouble. We border-folk 
don't want a fuss, hatched up by you foreigners!" 

I placated him as well as I could ; but at first was 
unsuccessful. He didn't say much but he evidently 
intended to come with me to the end because wherever 
I rode, I found him right behind the herd when I re- 
turned. 

Day had broken when I let the cattle halt for the 
first time. I reckoned I had gone twelve miles from 
the ford and the beasts were foot-sore and very tired; 
more and more of them requiring the whip in order to 
keep up even a walk. I bunched them together and 
came back to my saturnine acquaintance. 

"You are young to be at this game", he said. 
"Who is your Boss?" 

"I don't keep a boss", I answered, taking him in 
with hostile scrutiny. He was a man of about forty, 
tall and lean with an enormous quid of tobacco in his 
left cheek — a typical Texan. 

His bronco interested me; instead of being an In- 
dian pony of thirteen hands or so it was perhaps 
fifteen and a half and looked to be three-quarters bred. 
"A good horse you have there", I said. 



ON THE TRAIL. 159 

"The best in the hull country," he replied, "easy." 
"That's only your conceit", I retorted. "The mare 

I am on right now can give him a hundred yards in 

a mile." 

"You don't want to risk any money on that, do 
you?" he remarked. 

"Oh, yes", I smiled. 

"Well, we can try it out one of these days, but 
here comes your crowd", and indeed, although I had 
not expected them, in five minutes Bent and Bob and 
Charlie rode up. 

"Get the cattle going", cried Bob, as he came 
within earshot. "We must go on. The Mexicans have 
gone back but they will come right after us again. 
Who is this?" he added, ranging up beside the Texan. 

"My name is Locker", said my acquaintance; "and 
I guess your raiding will set the whole border boiling. 
Can't you buy cattle decently, like we all have to?" 

"How do you know how decently we paid for 
them?" cried Bent, thrusting forward his brown face 
like a weasel's, his dog teeth showing. 

"I guess Mr. Locker is all right", I cried laughing; 
"I propose he should help us and take two or three 
hundred head as payment, or the value of them — " 

"Now you're talking", said Locker. "I call that 
sense. There is a herd of mine about a mile further 
on; if two or three hundred of your Jose steers join 
it, I can't hinder 'em; but I'd rather have dollars; cash 
is scarce!" 

"Are they herded?" asked Bob. 

"Sure", replied Locker. "I am too near the river 
to let any cattle run round loose though nobody has 
interfered with me in the last ten years." 

Bob and I began moving the cattle on leaving 
Bent with Locker to conclude the negotiations. In an 
hour we had found Locker's herd that must have num- 

12 



160 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

bered at least six thousand head and were guarded by 
three herdsmen. 

Locker and Bent had soon come to a working 
agreement. Locker it turned out had another herd 
some distance to the east from which he could draw 
three or four herdsmen. He had also a couple of boys, 
sons of his, whom he could send to rouse some of the 
neighboring farmers if the need was urgent. It turn- 
ed out that we had done well to be generous to hi m 
for he knew the whole of the countryside like a book 
and was a good friend in our need. 

Late in the afternoon, Locker was informed by 
one of his sons, a youth of about sixteen, that twenty 
Mexicans had crossed the river and would be up to us 
in a short time. Locker sent him after the younger 
boy to round up as many Texans as posible but before 
they could be collected, a bunch of greasers, twenty 
or so, in number, rode up and demanded the return of 
the cattle. Bent and Locker put them off and as luck 
would have it, while they were arguing, three or four 
Texans came up, and one of them, a man of about 
forty years of age named Eossiter, took control'of the 
whole dispute. He told the Mexican leader, who said 
lie was Don Luis, a son of Don Jose, that if he stayed 
any longer he would probably be arrested and put in 
prison for raiding American territory and threatening 
people. 

The Mexican seemed to have a good deal of pluck, 
and declared that he would not only threaten but carry 
out his threat. Rossiter told him to wade right in. 
The loud talk began again, and a couple more Texans 
came up and the Mexican leader realizing that unless 
he did something at once he would be too late, started 
to circle round the cattle, no doubt thinking that if 
he did some thing his superior numbers would 
scare us. 



ON THE TRAIL. 161 

in five minutes the fight had begun. In ten more 
it was all over. Nothing could stand against the 
deadly shooting of the Westerners. In five minutes 
one or two of the Mexicans had been killed and several 
wounded; half a dozen horses had gone down; it was 
perfectly evident that the eight or ten of us were more 
than a match for the twenty Mexicans, for except Don 
Luis none of them scorned to have any stomach for 
the work, and Luis got a bullet through his arm in the 
first five minutes. Finally they drew off threatening 
and yelling and we saw no more of them. 

After the battle we all adjourned to Locker's and 
had a big drink. Nobody took the fight seriously: 
whipping Greasers was nothing to brag about; but 
Rbssiter thought that a claim should be made against 
the Mexican Government for raiding United States 
territory: said he was going to draw up the papers 
and send them to the State District Attorney al 
Austin. The proposal was received with whoops and 
cheers. The idea of punishing the Mexicans for get- 
ting shot trying to recapture their own cattle appealed 
to us Americans as something intensely humorous. 
All the Texans gave their names solemnly as wit- 
nesses, and Rossiter swore he would draw up the doc- 
ument. Years afterwards Bent whom I met by 
chance, told me that Rossiter had got forty thousand 
dollars on that claim. 

Three days latin- we began to move our cattle east- 
ward to rejoin Reece and Dell. I gave one hundred 
dollars as a reward to Locker's two boys who had 
helped us from start to finish most eagerly. 

A week or so later we got hack to the main camp. 
Reece and Dell had their herd ready and fat, and after 
a talk we resolved to go each on his own and join 
afterwards for the fall and winter on the ranch, if it 
pleased us. We took three weeks to get our bunch of 

12" 



162 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

cattle into condition and so began driving North in 
July. I spent every night in the saddle and most of 
the day, even though the accursed fever was shak- 
ing me. 

All went well with us at first: I promised my 
three lieutenants a third share in the profits and a 
small wage besides : they were as keen as mustard and 
did all men could do. As soon as we reached the lati- 
tude of the Indian territory our troubles began. One 
wild night Indians, who wore sheets and had smeared 
their hands with phosphorus, stampeded the cattle and 
though the boys did wonders we lost nearly a thou- 
sand head and some hundred horses all of them broken 
in carefully. 

It was a serious loss but not irreparable. The 
Plain Indians, however, were as persistent that sum- 
mer as mosquitoes. I never went out after game but 
they tried to cut me off and once at least nothing but 
the speed and stamina of Blue Devil saved me. I had 
to give up serious shooting and depend on luck bring- 
ing us near game. Gradually the Indians following 
us grew more numerous and bolder. We were attacked 
at nightfall and daybreak three or four days running 
and the half wild cattle began to get very scarey. 

Bob did not conceal his anxiety. "Bad Injuns! 
very mean Injuns — !" One afternoon they followed 
us openly; there were at one time over a hundred in 
view; evidently they were getting ready for a serious 
attack. Bob's genius got us a respite. While Charlie 
was advising a pitched battle, Bob suddenly remem- 
bered that there was a scrub-oak forest some five miles 
further on to our right that would give us a refuge. 
Charlie and Bent, the best shots, lay down and began 
to shoot and soon made the Indians keep out of sight. 
In three hours we reached the scrub-oak wood and the 
bay or bight in it where Bob said the cattle would be 



ON THE TRAIL. 163 

safe; for nothing could get through scrub-oak and as 
soon as we had driven the cattle deep into the bay and 
brought our wagon to the centre, on the arc of the 
bight, so to speak, no Indians could stampede the 
cattle without blotting us out first. For the moment 
we were safe and as luck would have it, the water in 
a little creek near by was drinkable. Still we were 
besieged by over a hundred Indians and those odds 
were heavy as even Bob admitted. 

Days passed and the siege continued: the Indians 
evidently meant to tire us out and get the herd, and 
our tempers didn't improve under the enforced idle- 
ness and vigilance. One evening Charlie was spraw- 
ling at the fire taking up more than his share of it, 
when Bent who had been looking after the cattle, came 
in. "Take up your legs, Charlie," he said roughly, 
"you don't want the whole fire." Charlie didn't hear or 
paid no attention: the next moment Bent had thrown 
himself down on Charlie's long limbs. With a curse 
Charlie pushed him off: the next moment Bent had 
hurled himself on Charlie and had shoved his head 
down in the fire. After a short struggle Charlie got 
free and in spite of all I could do, struck Bent. 

Bent groped for his gun at once; but Charlie was 
at him striking and swinging like a wild man and Bent 
had to meet the attack. 

Till the trial came, everyone would have said that 
Charlie was far and away the better man, younger too 
and astonishingly powerful. But Bent evidently was 
no novice at the game. He side-stepped Charlie's rush 
and hit out straight and hard and Charlie went down; 
but was up again like a flash, and went for his man in 
a wild rush: soon he was down again and everyone 
realized that sooner or later Bent must win. Fighting, 
however, has a large element of chance in it and as 
luck would have it just when Bent seemed most cer- 



164 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

tain of winning, one of Charlie's wild swings caught 
him on the 'point of the jaw and to onr amazement he 
went, down like a log and could not be brought to for 
some ten minutes. Tt was the first time I had seen 
this blow and naturally we all exaggerated the force 
of it not knowing that a light blow up against the chin 
jars the spinal cord and knocks any man insensible. 
In fact, in many cases, such a blow results in partial 
paralysis and life-long weakness. 

Charlie was inclined to brag of his victory but 
Bob told him the truth and on reflection Bent's pur- 
pose and fighting power made the deeper impression 
on all of us and he himself took pains next day to warn 
Charlie: 

"Don't get in my way again", he said to him drily, 
"or I'll make meat of you." 

The dire menace in his hard, face was convincing. 
"Oh, Hell", replied Charlie, "who wants to get in 
your way!" 

Reflection teaches me that all the worst toughs 
on the border in my time were ex-soldiers: it was the 
Civil Avar that had bred those men to violence and the 
use of the revolver; it was the civil war that produced 
the "Wild Bills" and Bents who forced the good-hum- 
ored Westerners to hold life cheaply and to use their 
guns instead of fists. 

One evening we noticed a large increase in the 
force of Indians besieging us: one chief too on a pie- 
bald mustang appeared to be urging an immediate 
attack and soon we found some of the "braves" steal- 
ing down the creek to outflank us, while a hundred 
others streamed past us at four hundred yards' 
distance firing wildly. Bob and I went under the 
creek banks to stop the flankers while Bent and Char- 
lie and Jo brought down more than one horse and man 



ON THE TRAIL, 165 

and taught the band of Indians that a direcl attack 
would surely cost them many lives. 

Still there were only five of us and a chance bullet 
or two might make the odds against us desperate. 

Talking it over we came to the conclusion that one 
man should ride to Fort Dodge for help and 1 was 
selected as the lightest save Bob and altogether the 
worst shot besides being the only man who would cer- 
tainly find his way. Accordingly T brought up Blue 
Devil at once, took some pounds of jerked beef with 
me and a goat-water skin 1 had bought in Taos; a 
girth and stirrups quickly turned a blanket into a 
makeshift, light saddle and 1 was ready. 

it was Bob's uncanny knowledge both of the Trail 
and of Indian ways that gave me my chance. All the 
rest advised me to go North out of our bay and then 
ride for it. He advised me to go south where the large 
bodv of Indians had stationed themselves. w>r [ nev'll 
not look for you there", he said and "you may get 
through unseen; half an hour's riding more will take 
you round them; then you have one hundred and fifty 
miles north on the Trail — you may pick up a herd 
and then one hundred and twenty miles straight west. 
You ought to be in Dodge in five days and back here 
in iivQ more; you'll find us", he added significantly. 
The little man padded Blue Devil's hooves with some 
old garments he cut up and insisted on leading her 
away round the bight and far to the south, and I 
verily believe beyond the Indian cam]). 

There he took off the mare's pads, while I tightened 
the girths and started to walk keeping the mare bet- 
ween me and the Indians and my ears cocked for the 
slightest sound. But I heard nothing and saw nothing 
and in an hour more had made the round and was on 
the Trail for the north determined in my own mind 
io do the two or three hundred miles in four days at 



166 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

most On the fourth day I got twenty troopers 

from the Fort with Lieutenant Winder and was lead- 
ing them in a bee-line to our Refuge. We got there 
in six days; but in the mean time the Indians had 
been busy. 

They cut a way through the scrub-oak brush that 
we regarded as impassable and stampeded the cattle 
one morning just at dawn and our men were only able 
to herd off about six or seven hundred head and pro- 
tect them in the extreme north corner of the bend. 
The Indians had all drawn off the day before I arrived 
with the U. S. Cavalry troopers Next morn- 
ing we began the march northwards and I had no 
difficulty in persuading Lieutenant Winder to give us 
his escort for the next four or five days 

A week later we reached Wichita where we de- 
cided to rest for a couple of days and there we en- 
countered another piece of bad luck. Ever since he 
had caught syphilis, Charlie seemed to have lost his 
gay temper: he became gloomy and morose and we 
could do nothing to cheer him up. The very first 
night he had to be put to bed at the gambling saloon 
in Wichita where he had become speechlessly drunk. 
And next day he was convinced that he had been 
robbed of his money by the man who kept the bank 
and went about swearing that he would get even with 
him at all costs. By the evening he had infected Bent 
and Jo with his insane determination and finally I 
went along hoping to save him, if I could, from some 
disaster. 

Already I had asked Bob to get another herdsman 
and drive the cattle steadily towards Kansas City: he 
consented and for hours before we went to the saloon, 
Bob had been trekking north. I intended to rejoin him 
some five or six miles further on and drive slowly for 



ON THE TRAIL. 167 

the rest of the night. Somehow or other, I felt that 
the neighborhood was unhealthy for us. 

The gambling saloon was lighted by three power- 
ful oil lamps : two over the faro-table and one over the 
bar. Jo stationed himself at the bar while Bent and 
Charlie went to the table: I walked about the room 
trying to play the indifferent among the twenty or 
thirty men scattered about. Suddenly about 10 o'clock 
Charlie began disputing with the banker: they both 
rose, the banker drawing a big revolver from the table 
drawer in front of him. At the same moment Charlie 
struck the lamp above him and I saw him draw his gun 
just as all the lights went out leaving us in pitch 
darkness. 

I ran to the door and was carried through it in a 
sort of mad stampede. A minute afterwards Bent 
joined me and then Charlie came rushing out at top 
speed with Jo hard after him. In a moment we were 
at the corner of the street where we had left our 
ponies and were off: one or two shots followed; I 
thought we had got off scot free; but I was mistaken. 

We had ridden hell for leather, for about an hour 
when Charlie without apparent reason pulled up and 
swaying fell out of his saddle: his pony stopped dead 
and we all gathered round the wounded man : 

"I'm finished", said Charlie in a weak voice, "but 
I've got my money back and I want you to send it to 
my mother in Pleasant Hill, Missouri. It's about a 
thousand dollars, I guess". 

"Are you badly hurt?" I asked. 

"He drilled me through the stomach first go off" 
Charlie said pointing, "and I guess I've got it at least 
twice more through the lungs : I'm done". 

"What a pity, Charlie!" I cried, "you'll get more 
than a thousand dollars from your share of the cattle : 
I've told Bob, that I intend to share equally with all 



168 MY LIFE AND LOVER. 

of you: this money must go back; but the thousand 
shall be sent to your mother I promise you:" — 

"Not on your life!", cried the dying man, lifting 
himself up on one elbow: "This is my money: it shan't 
go back to that oily sneak thief": the effort had ex- 
hausted him; even in the dim light we could see that 
his face was drawn and gray: he must have under- 
stood this himself for I could just hear his last words: 
"Good-bye, boy.-!"* his head fell back, his mouth 
opened: the brave boyish spirit was gone. 

I couldn't control my tears: the phrase came t<» 
me: "I better could have lost a better man." for 
Charlie was at heart a good fellow! 

1 left Bent to carry back the money and arrang 
for Charlie's burial, leaving Jo to guard the body: in 
an hour I was again with Bob and had told him every- 
thing. Ten days later we were in Kansas City where 
I was surprised by unexpected news. 

My second brother Willie, six years older than 1 
was, had come out to America and hearing of me in 
Kansas had located himself in Lawrence as a real- 
estate agent; he wrote asking me to join him. This 
quickened my determination to have nothing more t«» 
do with cowpunching. Cattle too, Ave found, had fallen 
in price and we were lucky to get ten dollars or so a 
head for our bunch which made a poor showing from 
the fact that the Indians had netted all the best. 
There was about six thousand dollars to divide: Jo 
got five hundred dollars and Bent. Bob, Charlie's 
mother and myself divided the rest. Bob told me 1 
was a fool: J should keep it all and go down south 
again; but what had I gained by my two years of 
cowpunching? I had lost money and caught malarial 
fever; I had won a certain knowledge of ordinary men 
and their way of living and had got more than a 
smattering of economics and of medicine, but 1 was 






\ THE TRAIL. 






led with an iirfi: - for a merely physical 

What ? I 1 

.-:■ up my mi 



* 



\ 




STUDENT LIFE AND LOVE. 

Chapter IX. 



That railway journey to Lawrence, Kansas, is as 
vivid to me now as if it had taken place yester- 
day yet it all happened more than fifty years ago. 
It was a blazing hot day and in the seat opposite to 
me was an old grey -haired man who appeared to be 
much troubled by the heat: he moved about restlessly, 
mopped his forehead, took off his vest and finally 
went out probably to the open observation platform, 
leaving a couple of books on his seat. I took 
one of them up heedlessly — it was "The Life 
and Death of Jason", by William Morris. I read 
a page or two, was surprised by the easy flow of the 
verse; but not gripped, so I picked up the other 
volume: — "Laus Veneris: Poems and Ballads" by 
Algernon Charles Swinburne. It opened at the 
Anactoria and in a moment, I was carried away 
entranced as no poetry before or since has ever 
entranced me. Venus, herself, spoke in the lines: 

"Alas! that neither rain nor snow nor dew 

Nor all cold things can purge me wholly through, 

Assuage me nor allay me, nor appease, 

Till supreme sleep shall bring me bloodless ease, 

Till Time wax faint in all her periods, 

Till Fate undo the bondage of the Gods 

To lay and slake and satiate me all through, 



STUDENT LIFE AND LOVE. 171 

Lotus and Lethe on my lips like dew, 
And shed around and over and under me 
Thick darkness and the insuperable sea." 
I haven't seen the poem since and there may be verbal 
inaccuracies in my version; but the music and passion 
of the verses enthralled me and when I came to "The 
Leper", the last stanzas brought hot tears to my 
eyes and in the "Garden of Proserpine", I heard my 
own soul speaking with divine if hopeless assurance. 
Was there ever such poetry? Even the lighter verses 
were, charming: 

"Remembrance may recover 
And time bring back to time 
The name of your first lover, 
The ring of my first rhyme: 
But rose-leaves of December, 
The storms of June shall fret; 
The day that you remember, 
The day that I forget. 

And then the gay defiance: 

In the teeth of the glad salt weather, 
In the blown wet face of the sea; 
While three men hold together, 
Their Kingdoms are less by three. 

And the divine songs to Hugo and to Whitman 
and the superb "Dedication": the last verse of it a. 
miracle : 

Though the many lights dwindle to one light, 
There is help if the Heavens have one; 
Though the stars be discrowned of the sunlight 
And the earth dispossessed of the Sun: 
They have moonlight and sleep for repayment: 
When refreshed as a bride and set free; 
With stars and sea-winds in her raiment 
Night sinks on the sea." 



172 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

My very soul was taken: I had no need to read them 
twice: I've never seen them since: I shall not forget 
them so long as this machine lasts. They flooded my 
eyes with tears, my heart with passionate admiration. 
In this state the old gentlemen came hack and found 
me, a cowboy to all appearance, lost, tear-drowned in 
Swinburne. 

."I think that's my book", he said calling me back 
to dull reality. "Surely", I replied bowing; "but what 
magnificent poetry and I never heard of Swinburne 
before." "This is his first book I believe", said the 
old gentleman, "but I'm glad you like his verses; 
"Like", I cried, "who could help adoring them!" and 
1 let myself go to recite the Proserpine: 

From too much love of living, 

From hope and fear set free, 

We thank with brief thanksgiving 

Whatever Gods may be 

That no life lives forever, 

That dead men rise up never, 

That even the weariest river 

Winds somewhere safe to sea. 
"Why you've learned it by heart!", cried the old man 
in wonder; "learned'', I repeated, "I know half the 
book by heart: if you had stayed away another half 
hour, I'd have known it all and I went on reciting for 
the next ten minutes. 

"I never heard of such a thing in my life", he 
cried: "fancy a cowboy who learns Swinburne by 
merely reading him. It's astounding! Where are you 
going!" "To Lawrence," I replied. "We're almost 
there," he added and then, "1 wish you would let me 
give you the book. I can easily get another copy and 
I think it ought to be yours". 

I thanked him with all my heart and in a few 
minutes more got down at Lawrence station then as 



STUDENT Lr'lFE AND LOVE. 178 

now far outside the little town clasping my Swinburne 

in my hand. 

I record this story not to brag of my memory for 
all gifts are handicaps in life; but to show how land 
Western Americans were to young folk and because 
the irresistible, unique appeal of Swinburne to youth 
has never been set forth before, so far as 1 know. 

In a comfortable room at the Eld. ridge House, in 
the chief street of Lawrence, I met my brother: Willie 1 
seemed woefully surprised by my appearance: "You're 
as yellow as a guinea; but how you've grown", lie 
cried. "You may be tall yet but you look ill, very ill!" 

He was the picture of health and even better- 
looking than I had remembered him: a man of five 
feet ten or so with good figure and very handsome 
dark face: hair, small moustache and goatee beard 
jet black, straight thin nose and superb long hazel 
eyes with black lashes: he might have stood for the 
model of a Greek god were it not that his forehead 
was narrow and his eyes set close. 

In three months he had become enthusiastically 
American, "America is the greatest country in the 
world", he assured me from an abyssmal ignorance; 
"any young man who works can make money here; 
if I had a little capital I'd be a rich man in a very few 
years; it's some capital I need, nothing more". Having 
drawn my story out of me especially the last phase 
when 1 divided up with the boys, he declared I must 
be mad. "With five thousand dollars", he cried, k "l 
could be rich in three years, a millionaire in ten. 
You must be mad; don't you know that everyone is 
for himself in this world: good gracious! I never 
heard of such insanity: if I had only known!" 

For some days I watched him closely and came 
to believe that he was perfectly suited to his 
surroundings, eminently fitted to succeed in them. 



174 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

He was an earnest Christian, I found, who had been 
converted and baptised in the Baptist Church; he had 
a fair tenor voice and led the choir; he swallowed all 
the idiocies of the incredible creed; but drew some 
valuable moral sanctions from it; he was a teetotaler 
and didn't smoke; a Nazarene, too, determined to 
keep chaste as he called a state of abstinence from 
women, and weekly indulgence in self-abuse which he 
tried to justify as inevitable. 

The teaching of Jesus himself had little or no 
practical effect on him; he classed it all together as 
counsels of an impossible perfection, and like the vast 
majority of Americans, accepted a childish Pauline- 
German morality while despising the duty of forgive- 
ness and scorning the Gospel of Love. 

A few days after our first meeting, Willie pro- 
posed to me that I should lend him a thousand dollars 
and he would give me twenty- five per cent for the 
use of the money. When I exclaimed against the 
usurious rate, twelve per cent being the State limit, 
he told me he could lend a million dollars if he had it, 
at from three to five per cent a month on perfect 
security. "So you see," he wound up, "that I can 
easily afford to give you two hundred and fifty dollars 
a year for the use of your thousand: one can buy 
real estate here to pay fifty per cent a year; the 
country is only just beginning to be developed", and 
so forth and so on in wildest optimism: the end of 
it being that he got my thousand dollars, leaving 
me with barely five hundred, but as I could live in 
a good boarding house for four dollars a week, I 
reckoned that at the worst I had one carefree year 
before me and if Willie kept his promise, I would be 
free to do whatever I wanted to do for years to come. 

It was written that I was to have another experi- 
ence in Lawrence much more important than anything 



STUDENT LIFE AND LOVE. 175 

to do with my brother. "Coming events cast their 
shadows before", is a poetic proverb, singularly inept; 
great events arrive unheralded, were truer. 

One evening I went to a political meeting at 
Liberty Hall near my hotel. Senator Ingalls was 
going to speak and a Congressman on the Granger 
movement, the first attempt of the Western farmers 
to react politically against the exploitation of Wall 
Street. The hall was packed: just behind me sat a 
man between two pretty grey-eyed girls. The man's 
face attracted me even at first sight: I should be able 
to picture him for even as I write his face comes 
before me as vividly as if the many long years that 
separate us, were but the momentary closing of my 
eyes. 

At the end of this chapter I reproduce a perfect 
portrait of him and need only add the coloring and 
expression: the large eyes were hazel and set far 
apart under the white, over-hanging brow; the hair 
and whiskers were chestnut-brown tinged with 
auburn ; but it was the eyes that drew and fascinated 
me for they were luminous as no other eyes that I 
have ever seen; frank too, and kind, kind always. 

But his dress, a black frock coat, with low stand- 
up white collar and a narrow black silk tie excited my 
snobbish English contempt. Both the girls, sisters 
evidently, were making up to him for all they were 
worth, or so it seemed to my jaundiced envious eyes* 

Senator Ingalls made the usual kind of speech: 
the farmers were right to combine; but the money- 
lords were powerful and after all farmers and bankers 
alike were Americans: — Americans first and last and 
all the time! (great cheering!) The Congressman fol- 
lowed with the same brand of patriotic piffle and then 
cries arose from all parts of the hall for Professor 
Smith! I heard eager whispering behind me and 

!3 



176 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

turning half round guessed that the good looking 
young man was Professor Smith for his two girl- 
admirers were persuading him to go on the platform 
and fascinate the audience. 

In a little while he went up amid great applause; 
a good figure of a man, rather tall, about five feet 
ten, slight with broad shoulders. He began to speak 
in a thin tenor voice: "there was a manifest conflict 
of interests," he said, "between the manufacturing 
Eastern States that demanded a high tariff on all 
imports and the farming West that wanted cheap 
goods and cheap rates of transport. 

"In essence, it's a mere matter of arithmetic, a 
mathematical problem, demanding a compromise; for 
every country should establish its own manufacturing 
industries and be self-supporting. The obvious reform 
was indicated; the Federal government should take 
over the railways and run them for the farmers, while 
competition among American manufacturers would 
ultimately reduce prices". 

No one in the hall seemed to understand this 
"obvious reform"; but the speech called forth a 
hurricane of cheers and I concluded that there were 
a great many students from the State University in 
the audience. 

I don't know what possessed me but when Smith 
returned to his seat behind me between the two girls 
and they praised him to the skies, I got up .and 
walked to the platform. I was greeted with a tempest 
of laughter and must have cut a ludicrous figure. I 
was in cowpuncher's dress as modified by Reece and 
Dell: I wore loose Bedford cord breeches, knee-high 
brown boots and a sort of buckskin shirt and jacket 
combined that tucked into my breeches. But rains and 
sun had worked their will on the buckskin which 
had shrunk down my neck and up my arms. 



STUDENT LIFE AND LOVE. 177 

Spurred on by the laughter I went up the four 
steps to the platform and walked over to the Mayor 
who was Chairman: 

"May I speak 1" I asked: 

"Sure", he replied "your name ?" 

"My name is Harris" I answered and the Mayor 
manifestly regarding me as a great joke announced 
that a Mr. Harris wished to address the meeting and 
he hoped the audience would give him a fair hearing 
even if his doctrines happened to be peculiar. As I 
faced them, the spectators shrieked with laughter: 
the house fairly rocked. I waited a full minute and 
then began: "How like Americans and Democrats", I 
said, "to judge a man by the clothes he wears and 
the amount of hair he has on his face or the dollars 
in his jeans." 

There was instantaneous silence, the silence of 
surprise at least, and I went on to show what I had 
learned from Mill that open competition was the law 
of life, another name for the struggle for existence; 
that each country should concentrate its energies on 
producing the things it was best fitted to produce 
and trade these off against the products of other 
nations; this was the great economic law, the law 
of the territorial division of labor. 

"Americans should produce corn and wheat and 
meat for the world", I said, and exchange these 
products for the cheapest English woolen goods and 
French silks and Irish linen. This would enrich the 
American farmer, develop all the waste American 
land and be a thousand times better for the whole 
country than taxing all consumers with high import 
duties to enrich a few Eastern manufacturers who 
were too inefficient to face the open competition of 
Europe. "The American farmers," I went on, "should 
organize with the laborers, for their interests are 

13* 



178 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

identical and fight the Eastern manufacturer who is 
nothing but a parasite living on the brains and work 
of better men". 

And then, I wound up: "this common sense pro- 
gram won't please your Senators or your Congress- 
men who prefer cheap claptrap to thought, or your 
superfine Professors who believe the war of classes is 
"a mere arithmetical problem" (and I imitated the Pro- 
fessor's thin voice), but it may nevertheless be accep- 
ted by the American farmer tired of being milked 
by the Yankee manufacturer and it should stand as 
the first chapter in the new Granger gospel". 

I bowed to the Mayor and turned away but the 
audience broke into cheers and Senator Ingalls came 
over and shook my hand saying he hoped to know 
me better and the cheering went on till I had gotten 
back to my place and resumed my seat. A few minutes 
later and I was touched on the back by Professor 
Smith. As I turned round he said smiling "you gave 
me a good lesson: I'll never make a public speaker and 
what I said doubtless sounded inconsequent and ab- 
surd; but if you'd have a talk with me, I think I could 
convince you that my theory will hold water". 

"I've no doubt you could," I broke in, heartily 
ashamed of having made fun of a man I didn't know; 
"I didn't grasp your meaning but I'd be glad to have 
a talk with you." 

"Are you free tonight?" he went on: I nodded: 
"Then come with me to my rooms. These ladies live 
out of town and we'll put them in their buggy and 

then be free. This is Mrs he added presenting 

me to the stouter lady and this, her sister, Miss 
Stevens." I bowed and out we went, I keeping myself 
resolutely in the background till the sisters had driven 
away: then we set off together to Professor Smith's 
rooms, for our talk. 



STUDENT LIFE AND LOVE. 179 

If I could give a complete account of that talk, 
this poor page would glow with wonder and admi- 
ration all merged in loving reverence. We talked or 
rather Smith talked for I soon found he knew infinit- 
ely more than I did, was able indeed to label my 
creed as that of Mill, "a bourgeois English economist" 
he called him with smiling disdain. 

Ever memorable to me, sacred indeed, that first 
talk with the man who was destined to reshape my 
life and inspire it with some of his own high purpose. 
He introduced me to the communism of Marx and 
Engels and easily convinced me that land and its 
products, coal and oil, should belong to the whole 
community which should also manage all industries 
for the public benefit. 

My breath was taken by his mere statement of the 
case and I thrilled to the passion in his voice and 
manner though even then I wasn't wholly convinced. 
Whatever topic we touched on, he illumined ; he knew 
everything, it seemed to me, German and French and 
could talk Latin and Classic Greek as fluently as 
English. I had never imagined such scholarship and 
when I recited some verses of Swinburne as ex- 
pressing my creed he knew them too and his Pantheis- 
tic Hymn to Hertha, as well. And he wore his know- 
ledge lightly as the mere garment of his shining 
spirit! And how handsome he was, like a Sun-god! 
I had never seen anyone who could at all compare 
with him. 

Day had dawned before we had done talking: 
then he told me he was the Professor of Greek in the 
State University and hoped I would come and study 
with him when the schools opened again in October. 
'To think of you as a cowboy" he said, "is impossible. 
Fancy a cowboy knowing books of Vergil and poems 



180 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

of Swinburne by heart; it's absurd: you must give 
your brains a chance and study." 

"I've too little money" I said, beginning to regret 
my loan to my brother. 

"I told you I am a Socialist," Smith retorted 
smiling: "I have three or four thousand dollars in 
the Bank, take half of it and come to study" and 
his luminous eyes held me: then it was true, after all; 
my heart swelled, jubilant, there were noble souls in 
this world who took little thought of money and lived 
for better things than gold. 

"I won't take your money", I said, with tears 
burning: "every herring should hang by its own head 
in these democratic days; but if you think enough of 
me to offer such help, I'll promise to come though 
I fear you'll be disappointed when you find how 
little I know; how ignorant I am. I've not been in 
school since I was fourteen." 

"Come, we'll soon make up the time lost" he said. 
"By the bye where are you staying?" "The Eldridge 
House," I replied. 

He brought me to the door and we parted; as I 
turned to go I saw the tall slight figure and the 
radiant eyes and I went away into a new world that 
was the old, feeling as if I were treading on air. 

Once more my eyes had been opened as on Overton 
Bridge to the beauties of nature; but now to the 
splendor of an unique spirit. What luck! I cried to 
myself to meet such a man! It really seemed to me as 
if some God were following me with divine gifts! 

And then the thought came: This man has chosen 
and called you very much as Jesus called his dis- 
ciples: — Come, and I wilt make you fishers of men f 
Already I was dedicate heart and soul to the new 
Gospel. 

But even that meeting with Smith, wherein I 



STUDENT LIFE AND LOVE. 181 

reached the topmost height of golden hours, was set 
off, so to speak, by another happening of this wonder- 
week. At the next table to me in the dining-room I 
had already remarked once or twice a little, middle- 
aged, weary looking man who often began his break- 
fast with a glass of boiling water and followed it up 
with a baked apple drowned in rich cream. Brains, 
too, or sweetbreads he would eat for dinner and rice, 
not potatoes: when I looked surprise, he told me he 
had been up all night and had a weak digestion. 
Mayhew, he said, was his name and explained that if 
T ever wanted a game of faro or euchre or indeed 
anything else, he'd oblige me. I smiled; I could 
ride and shoot, I replied; but I was no good 
at cards. 

The day after my talk with Smith, Mayhew and 
I were both late for supper: I sat long over a good 
meal and as he rose, he asked me if I would come 
across the street and see his "lay-out!" I went wil- 
lingly enough, having nothing to do. The gambling- 
saloon was on the first floor of a building nearly 
opposite the Eldridge House: the place was well-kept 
and neat, thanks to a colored bar-tender and colored 
waiter and a nigger of all work. The long room too 
was comfortably furnished and very brightly lit — 
altogether an attractive place. 

As luck would have it, while he was showing me 
round, a lady came in; Mayhew after a word or two 
introduced me to her as his wife: Mrs. Mayhew was 
then a woman of perhaps twenty-eight or thirty, with 
tall, lissom slight figure and interesting rather than 
pretty face: her features were all good, her eyes even 
were large and blue-gray: she would have been lovely 
if her coloring had been more pronounced: give her 
golden hair or red or black and she would have been 
a beauty: she was always tastefully dressed and had 



182 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

appealing, ingratiating manners. I soon found that 
she loved books and reading and as Mayhew said he 
was going to be busy, I asked if I might see her home. 
She consented smiling and away we went. She lived 
in a pretty frame house standing alone in a street that 
ran parallel to Massachusetts Street, nearly opposite 
to a large and ugly church. 

As she went up the steps to the door, I noticed 
that she had fine, neat ankles and I divined shapely 
limbs. While she was taking off her light cloak and 
hat, the lifting of her arms stretched her bodice and 
showed small round breasts: already my blood was 
lava and my mouth parched with desire. 

"You look at me strangely!" she said swinging 
round from the long mirror with a challenge on her 
parted lips. I made some inane remark: I couldn't 
trust myself to speak frankly; but natural sympathy 
drew us together. I told her I was going to be a stu- 
dent and she wanted to know whether I could dance: 
I told her I could not, and she promised to teach me: 
"Lily Robins, a neighbor's girl, will play for us any 
afternoon. Do you know the steps'?" she went on and 
when I said "No": she got up from the sofa, held up 
her dress and showed me the three polka steps which 
she said were the waltz steps too, only taken on a 
glide. "What pretty ankles! you have", I ventured; 
but she appeared not to hear me. We sat on and on 
and I learned that she was very lonely: Mr. Mayhew 
away every night and nearly all day and nothing to 
do in that little dead-and-alive place. "Will you let 
me come in for a talk sometimes?" I asked: "Whenever 
you wish", was her answer. As I rose to go and we 
were standing opposite to each other by the door, I 
said: "You know, Mrs. Mayhew, in Europe when a 
man brings a pretty woman home, she rewards him 
jvith a kiss — " 



STUDENT LIFE AND LOVE. 183 

"Really*" she scoffed, smiling, "That's not a 
custom here". 

Are you less generous than they are!" I asked 
and the next moment I had taken her face in my 
hands and kissed her on the lips. She put her hands 
on my shoulders and left her eyes on mine: "We're 
going to he friends", she said, "I felt it when I saw 
you: don't stay away too long!" 

"Will you see me tomorrow afternoon?" I asked: 
"I want that dance lesson!" "Surely" she replied, 
"I'll tell Lily in the morning." And once more our 
hands met: I tried to draw her to me for another 
kiss; but she held back with a smiling — "To morrow 
afternoon!" "Tell me your name", I begged, "so that 
I may think of it". "Lorna" she replied, "you funny 
boy!" and I went my way with pulses hammering, 
blood aflame and hope in my heart. 

Next morning I called again upon Smith; but the 
pretty servant, "Rose", she said her name was, told 
me that he was nearly always out at Judge Stevens' 
"five or six miles out," she thought it was; "they 
always come for him in a buggy", she added. So I 
said I'd write and make an appointment and I did 
write and asked him to let me see him next morning. 

That same morning Willie recommended to me 
a pension kept by a Mrs. Gregory, an English- 
woman, the wife of an old Baptist clergyman, who 
would take good care of me for four dollars a week. 
Immediately I went with him to see her and was de- 
lighted to find that she lived only about a hundred 
yards from Mrs. Mayhew on the opposite side of 
the street. Mrs. Gregory was a large, motherly 
woman evidently a lady, who had founded this board- 
ing-house to provide for a rather feckless husband 
and two children, a big pretty girl, Kate and a 
lad, a couple of years younger. Mrs. Gregory was 



184 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

delighted with my English accent, I believe, and 
showed me special favor at once by giving me a 
large outside room with its own entrance and steps 
into the garden. 

In an hour I had paid my bill at the Eldridge 
House and had moved in: I showed a shred of pru- 
dence by making Willie promise Mrs. Gregory that 
he would turn up each Saturday with the five 
dollars for my board; the dollar extra was for the 
big room. 

In due course I shall tell how he kept his pro- 
mise and discharged his debt to me. For the moment 
everything was easily, happily settled. I went out 
and ordered a decent suit of ordinary tweeds and 
dressed myself up in my best blue suit to call upon 
Mrs. Mayhew after lunch. The clock crawled but 
on the stroke of three, I was at her door: a colored 
maid admitted me. 

"Mrs. Mayhew", she said in her pretty singing 
voice, "will be down right soon: I'll go call Miss 
Lily". 

In five minutes Miss Lily appeared, a dark 
slip of a girl with shining black hair, wide laughing 
mouth, temperamental thick red lips and grey eyes 
fringed with black lashes: she had hardly time to 
speak to me when Mrs. Mayhew came in: "I hope 
you two'll be great friends", she said prettily ; "you're 
both about the same age" she added . 

In a few minutes Miss Lily was playing a waltz 
on the Stein way and with my arm round the slight, 
flexible waist of my inamorata I was trying to 
waltz. But alas! after a turn or two I became giddy 
and in spite of all my resolution had to admit that 
I should never be able to dance. 

"You have got very pale", Mrs. Mayhew said, 
"you must sit down on the sofa a little while". Slowly 



STUDENT LIFE AND LOVE. 185 

the giddiness left me: before I had entirely recovered 
Miss Lily with kindly words of sympathy had gone 
home and Mrs. Mayhew brought me in a cup of 
excellent coffee: I drank it down and was well at 
once. 

"You shoulid go in and lie down", said Mrs. 
Mayhew still full of pity, "see" and she opened a 
door, '"there's the guest bedroom all ready". I saw 
my chance and went over to her: "if you'd come too", 
I whispered and then, "the coffee has made me quite 
well: won't you, Lorna, give me a kiss? You don't 
know how often I said your name last night, you 
dear!" and in a moment I had again taken her face 
and put my lips on hers. She gave me her lips this 
time and my kiss became a caress; but in a little 
while she drew away and said, "let's sit and talk, I 
want to know all you are doing". So I seated myself 
beside her on the sofa and told her all my news. She 
thought I would be comfortable with the Gregorys. 
"Mrs. Gregory is a good woman", she added, "and 
I hear the girl's engaged to a cousin: do you think 
her pretty?" 

"I think no one pretty but you, Lorna", I said 
and I pressed her head down on the arm of the sofa 
and kissed her. Her lips grew hot: I was certain. 
At once I put my hand down on her sex; she strug- 
gled a little at first, which I took care should bring 
our bodies closer and when she ceased struggling I 
put my hands up her dress and began caressing her 
sex: it was hot and wet, as I knew it would be, and 
opened readily. 

But in another moment she took the lead: 
"Some one might find us here," she whispered, "I've 
let the maid go: come up to my bedroom" and she 
took me upstairs. I begged her to undress: I wanted 
to see her figure; but she only said, "I have no 



186 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

-corsets on, I don't often wear them in the house. 
Are you sure you love me, dear!" "You know I 
do!" was my answer. The next moment I lifted 
her on to the bed, drew up her clothes, opened her 
legs and was in her. There was no difficulty and 
in a moment or two I came; but went right on 
poking passionately; in a few minutes her breath 
went and came quickly and her eyes fluttered and 
she met my thrusts with sighs and nippings of her 
sex. My second orgasm took some time and all 
the while Lorna became more and more responsive, 
till suddenly she put her hands on my bottom and 
drew me to her forcibly while she moved her sex 
up and down awkwardly to meet my thrusts with a 
passion I had hardly imagined. Again and again I 
came and the longer the play lasted, the wilder was 
her excitement and delight. She kissed me hotly 
foraging and thrusting her tongue into my mouth. 
Finally she pulled up her chemise to get me further 
into her and at length with little sobs she suddenly 
got hysterical and panting wildly, burst into a storm 
of tears. 

That stopped me: I withdrew my sex and took 
her in my arms and kissed her; at first she clung 
to me with choking sighs and streaming eyes, but as 
soon as she had won a little control, I went to the toil- 
ette and brought her a sponge of cold water and 
bathed her face and gave her some water to drink 
— that quieted her. But she would not let me leave 
her even to arrange my clothes. 

"Oh, you great, strong dear," she cried, with her 
arms clasping me, "oh, who would have believed 
such intense pleasure possible: I never felt anything 
like it before: how could you keep on so long! Oh; 
how I love you, you wonder and delight! 

"i am all yours," she added gravely, "you shall 



STUDENT LIFE AND LOVE. 187 

do what you like with me: I am your mistress, your 
slave, your plaything and you are my God and my 
love! Oh, Darling! oh!" 

There was a pause while I smiled at her extra- 
vagant praise, then suddenly she sat up and got out of 
bed: "You wanted to see my figure", she exclaimed,, 
"here it is, I can deny you nothing; I only hope it 
may please you" and in a moment or two she showed 
herself nude from head to stocking. 

As I had guessed, her figure was slight and 
lissom, with narrow hips but she had a great bush 
of hair on her Mount of Venus and her breasts were 
not so round and firm as Jessie's: still she was very 
pretty and well - formed with the fines attaches 
(slender wrists and ankles) which the French are so 
apt to over-estimate. They think that small bones 
indicate a small sex; but I have found that the 
exceptions are very numerous, even if there is any 
such rule. 

After I had kissed her breasts and navel, and 
praised her figure, she disappeared in the bathroom 
but was soon with me again on the sofa which we 
had left an hour or so before. 

"Do you know" she began, "my husband assured 
me that only the strongest young man could go 
twice with a woman in one day? I believed him- r 
aren't we women fools! You must have come a 
dozen times'?" 

"Not half that number", I replied smiling. 

"Aren't you tired?" was her next question, "even 
I have a little headache" she added: "I never was so 
wrought up: at the end it was too intense: but you 
must be tired out." "No," I replied, "I feel no fatigue, 
indeed I feel the better for our joy ride!" 

"But surely you're an exception V she went on;- 
"most men have finished in one short spasm and leave 



188 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

the woman utterly unsatisfied, just excited and no 
more". 

"Youth", I said, "that, I believe, makes the chief 
difference". 

"Is there any danger of a child!" she went on, 
"I ought to say 'hope'," she added bitterly, "for I'd 
love to have a child, your child" and she kissed me. 

"When were you ill last?" I asked. 

"About a fortnight ago", she replied, "I often 
thought that had something to do with it". 

"Why!" I asked: "tell truth!" I warned her and 
she began: "I'll tell you anything; I thought the time 
had something to do with it for soon after I am well 
each month my "pussy" that's what we call it, often 
burns and itches intolerably; but after a week or so 
I'm not bothered any more till next time. Why is 
that?" she added. 

"Two things I ought to explain to you" I said, 
"your seed is brought down into your womb by the 
menstrual blood: it lives there a week or ten days 
and then dies and with its death your desires de- 
crease and the chance of impregnation. But near 
the next monthly period, say within three days, there 
is a double danger again; foi* the excitement may 
bring your seed down before the usual time and in 
any case, my seed will live in your womb about three 
days, so if you wish to avoid pregnancy, wait for 
ten days after your monthly flow is finished and 
stop say four days before you expect it again, then 
the danger of getting a child is very slight." 

"Oh, you wise boy!" she laughed, "don't you see 
you are skipping the time I most desire you, and that's 
not kind to either of us; is it?" 

"There's still another way of evasion", I said, 
u get me to withdraw before I come the first time, 
or get up immediately and syringe yourself with 



STUDENT LIFE AND LOVE. 189 

water thoroughly: water kills my seed as soon as it 
touches it — " 

"But how will that help if you go on half a 
dozen times more?" she asked. 

"Doctors say," I replied, "that what comes from 
me afterwards is not virile enough to impregnate a 
woman: I'll explain the process to you if you like; 
but you can take it, the fact is as I state it". 

"When did you learn all this?" she asked. 

"It has been my most engrossing study," I 
laughed, "and by far the most pleasureful!" 

"You dear, dear," she cried, "I must kiss you for 
that". 

"Do you know you kiss wonderfully?" she went 
on reflectingly, "with a lingering touch of the inside 
of the lips and then the thrust of the tongue: that's 
what excited me so the first time" and she sighed as 
if delighted with the memory. 

"You didn't seem excited," I said half reproach- 
fully, "for when I wanted another kiss, you drew 
away and said 'to-morrow'! Why are women so 
coquettish, so perverse?" I added, remembering Lu- 
cille and Jessie. 

"I think it is that we wish to be sure of being 
desired," she replied, "and a little too that we want 
to prolong the joy of it, the delight of being wanted, 
really wanted! It is so easy for us to give and so 
exquisite to feel a man's desire pursuing us! Ah how 
rare it is", she sighed passionately, "and how quickly 
lost! You'll soon tire of your mistress", she added, 
"now that I am all yours and thrill only for you" 
and she took my head in her hands and kissed me 
passionately, regretfully. 

"You kiss better than I do, Lorna! Where did 
you acquire the art, Madame?" I asked, "I fear that 
you have been a naughty, naughty girl!" 



190 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"If you only knew the truth," she exclaimed, "if 
you only knew how girls long for a lover and burn and 
itch in vain and wonder why men are so stupid and 
cold and dull as not to see our desire. 

"Don't we try all sorts of tricks? Aren't we 
haughty and withdrawn at one moment and affec- 
tionate, tender, loving at another? Don't we conceal 
the hook with every sort of bait only to watch the 
fish sniff at it and turn away. Ah, if you knew — 
I feel a traitor to my sex even in telling you — if 
you guessed how we angle for you and how clever 
we are, how full of wiles! There's an expression I 
once heard my husband use which describes us women 
exactly or nine out of ten of us. I wanted to know 
how he kept the office warm all night: he said, we 
damp down the furnaces and explained the process: 
that's it, I cried to myself, I'm a damped-down fur- 
nace: that's surely why I keep hot so long! Did you 
imagine", she asked, turning her flower-face all pale 
with passion half aside, "that I took off my hat that 
first day before the glass and turned slowly round 
with it held above my head, by chance? You dear 
innocent! I knew the movement would show my 
breasts and slim hips and did it deliberately hoping 
it would excite you and how I thrilled when I saw 
it did. 

'Why did I show you the bed in that room?" she 
added, "and leave the door ajar when I came back 
here to the sofa, but to tempt you and how heart- 
glad I was to feel your desire in your kiss. I was 
giving myself before you pushed my head back on 
the sofa-arm and disarranged all my hair!" she added 
pouting and patting it with her hands to make sure 
it was in order. 

"You were astonishingly masterful and quick," 
she went on: "how did you know that I wished you 






•= 




* 



% 






V 



X 




N. 



\ 



STUDENT LIFE AND LOVE. 191 

to touch me then'? Most men would have gone on 
kissing and fooling, afraid to act decisively. You 
must have had a lot of experience? You naughty 
lad!" 

"Shall I tell you the truth?" I said, "I will, just 
to encourage you to be frank with me. You are the 
first woman T have ever spent my seed in or had pro- 
perly — " 

"Call it improperly, for God's sake," she cried 
laughing aloud with joy, "you darling virgin, you! 
Oh! how I wish I was sixteen again and you were my 
first lover. You would have made me believe in 
God. Yet you are my first lover", she added quickly, 
"I have only learned the delight and ecstasy of love 
in your arms ■ — " 

Our love-talk lasted for hours till suddenly I 
guessed it was late and looked at mv watch: it was 
nearly seven- thirty : I was late for supper which star- 
ted at half -past six! 

"I must go," 1 exclaimed, "or I'll get nothing 
to eat". 

"I could give you supper," she added, "my lips 
too, that long for you and — and — but you know" 
she added regretfully, "he might come in and I want 
to know you better first before seeing you together: 
a young God and a man! — and the man in God's 
likeness, yet so poor an imitation!" 

"Don't, don't," I said, "you'll make life harder 
for yourself — " 

"Harder" she repeated with a sniff of contempt, 
"Kiss me, my love and go if you must. Shall I see 
you tomorrow? There!" she cried as with a curse, 
4 Tve given myself away: I can't help it, oh how I 
want you always: how I shall long for you and count 
the dull dreary hours! Go, go or I'll never let you" — 
and she kissed and clung to me to the door. 

14 



192 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"Swept — tomorrow", I said and tore off. 

Of course it is manifest that my liaison with Mrs. 
Mayhew had little or nothing to do with love. It was 
demoniac youthful sex-urge in me and much the 
same hunger in her and as soon as the desire was 
satisfied my judgment of her was as impartial, cool 
as if she had always been indifferent to me. But 
with her I think there was a certain attachment and 
considerable tenderness. In intimate relations between 
the sexes it is rare indeed that the man gives as much 
to love as the woman. 




Professor Byron. C. Smith: 1872. 



SOME STUDY, MORE LOVE. 

Chapter X. 

^ upper at the Gregory's was almost over when I 
^^ entered the dining-room: Kate and her mother 
and father and the boy Tommy were seated at the end 
of the table, taking their meal: the dozen guests had 
all finished and disappeared. Mrs. Gregory hastened 
to rise and Kate got up to follow her mother into the 
neighbouring kitchen. 

"Please don't get up!" I cried to the girl, "I'd 
never forgive myself for interrupting you: 111 wait 
on myself or on voir*, I added smiling, "if you wish 
anything — " 

She looked at me with hard, indifferent eyes and 
sniffed scornfully: "If you'll sit there'', she said, 
pointing to the other end of the table, "I'll bring 
you supper: do you take coffee or tea T' 

"Coffee, please," I answered and took the seat 
indicated, at once making up my mind to be cold to 
her while winning the others. Soon the boy began 
asking me had I ever seen any Indians — "in war- 
paint and armed, I mean" he added eagerly. 

"Yes and shot at them, too", I replied smiling. 
Tommy's eyes gleamed — "Oh tell us!" he panted 
and I knew I could always count on one good lis- 
tener! 

14* 



194 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 



UT1, 



'I've lots to tell, Tommy," I said, "but now I 
must eat my supper at express rate or your sister'll be 
angry — " I added as Kate came in with some steam- 
ing food: she pulled a face and shrugged her shoul- 
ders with contempt. 

"Where do you preach f I asked the grey-haired 
father, "my brother says you're really eloquent — " 

"Never eloquent," he replied deprecatingly, "but 
sometimes very earnest perhaps, especially when 
some event of the day comes to point the Gospel 
story — " he talked like a man of fair education and 
I could see he was pleased at being drawn to the 
front. 

Then Kate brought me fresh coffee and Mrs. Gre- 
gory came in and continued her meal and the talk 
became interesting, thanks to Mr. Gregory who 
couldn't help saying how the fire in Chicago had 
stimulated Christianity in his hearers and given him 
a great text. I mentioned casually that I had been 
in the fire and told of Randolph Street Bridge and 
the hanging and what else I saw there and on the 
lakefront that unforgettable Monday morning. 

At first Kate went in and out of the room remov- 
ing dishes as if she were not concerned in the story, 
but when I told of the women and girls half-naked 
at the lakeside while the flames behind us reached 
the zenith in a red sheet that kept throwing flame- 
arrows ahead and started the ships burning on the 
water in front of us, she too stopped to listen. 

At once I caught my cue, to be liked and admired 
by all the rest; but indifferent, cold to her. So I rose 
as if her standing enthralled had interrupted me 
and said: 

"I'm sorry to keep you: I've talked too much, 
forgive me!" and betook myself to my room in spite 



SOME STUDY, MORE LOVE. 195 

of the protests and prayers to continue of all the rest. 
Kate just flushed; but said nothing. 

She attracted me greatly: she was infinitely 
desirable, very good-looking and very young (only 
sixteen, her mother said later) and her great hazel 
eyes were almost as exciting as her pretty mouth 
or large hips and good height. She pleased me intim- 
ately but I resolved to win her altogether and felt 
I had begun well: at any rate she would think about 
me and my coldness. 

I spent the evening in putting out my half-dozen 
books, not forgetting my medical treatises, and then 
slept, the deep sleep of sex recuperation. 

The next morning I called on Smith again where 
he lived with the Reverend Mr. Kellogg, who was the 
Professor of English History in the University, 
Smith said. Kellogg was a man of about forty, stout 
and well-kept, with a faded wife of about the same 
age. Rose, the pretty servant, let me in: I had <\ 
smile and warm word of thanks for her: she was 
astonishingly pretty, the prettiest girl I had seen in 
Lawrence: medium height and figure with quite lovely 
face and an exquisite rose-leaf skin! She smiled 
at me; evidently my admiration pleased her. 

Smith, I found, had got books for me, Latin and 
Greek-English dictionaries, a Tacitus too and Xeno- 
p lion's Memorabilia with a Greek grammar: I in- 
sisted on paying for them all and then he began to 
talk. Tacitus he just praised for his superb phrases 
and the great portrait of Tiberius — "perhaps the 
greatest historical portrait ever painted in words." 
I had a sort of picture of King Edward the Fourth 
in my romantic head, but didn't venture to trot it 
out. But soon, Smith passed to Xenophon and his 
portrait of Socrates as compared with that of Plato. 
I listened all ears while he read out a passage from 



196 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Xenophon, painting Socrates with little human 
touches: I got him to translate every word literally 
and had a great lesson, resolving when I got home, 
I'd learn the whole page by heart. Smith was more 
than kind to me: he said I'd be able to enter the 
Junior Class and thus have only two years to gra- 
duation. If Willie gave me back even five hundred 
dollars, I'd be able to get through without care or 
work. 

Then Smith told me how he had gone to Germany 
after his American University: how he had studied 
there and then worked in Athens at ancient Greek for 
another year till he could talk classic Greek as easily 
as German. "There were a few dozen Professors and 
students" he said, "who met regularly and talked 
nothing but classic Greek: they were always trying 
to make the modern tongue just like the old." He 
gave me a translation of "Das Kapital" of Marx, and 
in fifty ways inspired and inspirited me to renewed 
effort. 

I came back to the Gregorys for dinner and dis- 
cussed in my own mind whether I should go to 
Mrs. Mayhew's as I had promised or work at Greek: 
I decided to work and then and there made a vow 
always to prefer work, a vow more honored in the 
breach, I fear, than in the observance. But at least I 
wrote to Mrs. Mayhew excusing myself and promising 
her the next afternoon. Then I set myself to learn 
by heart the two pages in the "Memorabilia". 

That evening I sat near the end of the table; 
the head of it was taken by the University Pro- 
fessor of Physics, a dull pedant! 

Every time Kate came near me I was ceremon- 
iously polite: "Thank you very much! It is very kind 
of you!" and not a word more. As soon as I could, 
I went to my room to work. 



SOME STUDY, MORE LOVE. 197 

Next day at three o'clock I knocked at Mrs. 
Mayhew's: she opened the door herself: I cried, ''how 
kind of you" and once in the room drew her to me 
and kissed her time and time again: she seemed 
cold and numb. 

For some moments she didn't speak, then: "I 
feel as if I had passed through fever", she said, 
putting her hands through her hair, lifting it in a 
gesture I was to know well in the days to come: 
"Never promise again if you don't come: I thought 
1 should go mad: waiting is a horrible torture! Who 
kept you? — some girl?" and her eyes searched mine. 

I excused myself; but her intensity chilled me. 
At the risk of alienating my girl-readers, I must 
confess this was the effect her passion had on me. 
When I kissed her, her lips were cold. But by the 
time we had got upstairs, she had thawed: she shut 
the door after us gravely and began: "See how ready 
I am for you!" and in a moment she had thrown 
back her robe and stood before me naked: she tossed 
the garment on a chair; it fell on the floor: she 
stooped to pick it up with her bottom to me: I kissed 
her soft bottom and caught her up by it wih my hand 
on 'her sex. She turned her head over her shoulder: 

"I've washed and scented myself for you, Sir: 
how do you like the perfume? and how do you like 
this bush of hairl" and she touched her Mount 
with a grimace; "1 was so ashamed of it as a girl: 
1 used to shave it off: that's what made it grow so 
thick. I believe: one dav ray mother saw it and made 
me stop shaving; oh, how ashamed of it \ was: it's 
animal, ugly: — don't you hate it? Oh! tell the truth!" 
she cried, "or rather, don't; tell me you love it". 

"I love it," 1 exclaimed, "because it's yours!" 
4, Oh you dear Lover," she smiled, ' 4 you always find 
the right word, the Battering salve for the sore!" 



198 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"Are you ready for me?" I asked, "ripe-ready 
or shall I kiss you first and caress pussy?" 

"Whatever you do, will be right," she said, "you 
know I am rotten-ripe, soft and wet for you always f 1 

All this while I was taking off my clothes: now 
I too was naked. 

"I want you to draw up your knees," I said: 
"I want to see the Holy of Holies, the shrine of my 
idolatry". 

At once she did as I asked. Her legs and bottom 
were well-shaped without being statuesque; but her 
clitoris was much more than the average button: it 
stuck out fully half an inch and the inner lips of 
her vulva hung down a little below the outer lips. 
I knew I should see prettier pussies. Kate's was better 
shaped, I felt sure, and the heavy, madder-brown lips 
put me off a little. 

The next moment I began caressing her red 
clitoris with my hot, stiff organ : Lorna sighed deeply 
once or twice and her eyes turned up ; slowly I pushed 
my prick in to the full and drew it out again to the 
lips, then in again and I felt her warm love-juice? 
gush as she drew up her knees even higher to let 
me further in: "Oh, it's divine", she sighed, "better 
even than the first time", and when my thrusts grew 
quick and hard as the orgasm shook me, she writhed 
down on my prick as I withdrew, as if she would 
hold it, and as my seed spirted into her, she bit my 
shoulder and held her legs tight as if to keep my 
sex in her. We lay a few moments bathed in bliss. 
Then as I began to move again to sharpen the sen- 
sation, she half rose on her arm: "Do you know", she 
said, "I dreamed yesterday of getting on you and 
doing it to you: do you mind, if I try — " "No, indeed!" 
I cried, "go to it: I am your prey!" She got up 
smiling and straddled kneeling across me and put my 



SOME STUDY, MORE LOVE. 199 

cock into her pussy and sank down on me with a 
deep sigh. She tried to move up and down on my 
organ and at once came up too high and had to use 
her hand to put my Tommy in again; then she sank 
down on it as far as possible: "I can sink down all 
right", she cried smiling at the double meaning, "but 
T cannot rise so well! What fools we women are, 
we can't master even the act of love; we are so 
awkward!" 

'Your awkwardness, however, excites me," I said. 

"Does it ?" she cried, "then I'll do my best", and 
for some time she rose and sank rhythmically; but 
as her excitement grew, she just let herself lie on 
me and wiggled her bottom till we both came. She 
was flushed and hot and I couldn't help asking her a 
question: 

"Does your excitement grow to a spasm of 
pleasure?" I asked, "or do you go on getting more 
and more excited continually?" 

"I get more and more excited," she said, "till the 
other day with you for the first time in my life the 
pleasure became unbearably intense and I was hys- 
terical, you wonder-lover!" 

Since then I have read lascivious books in halt 
a dozen languages and they all represent women 
coming to an orgasm in the act, as men do, followed by 
a period of content; which only shows that the books 
are all written by men and ignorant, insensitive men 
at that. The truth is hardly one married woman in 
a thousand is ever brought to her highest pitch of 
feeling: usually, just when she begins to feel, her hus- 
band goes to sleep. If the majority of husbands sat- 
isfied their wives occasionally, the Woman's Revolt 
would soon move to another purpose: women want 
above all a lover who loves to excite them to the top 
of their bent. As a rule men through economic con- 



200 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

ditions marry so late that they have already half 
exhausted their virile power before they marry. And 
when they marry young they are so ignorant and so 
self-centered that they imagine their wives must be 
satisfied when they are. Mrs. Mayhew told me that 
her husband had never excited her really. She denied 
that she had ever had any acute pleasure from his 
embraces. 

"Shall I make you hysterical again!" I asked, out 
of boyish vanity, "I can, you know!" 

"You mustn't tire vourself! she warned, "my 
husband taught me long ago that when a woman tires 
a man, he gets a distaste for her and I want your 
love, your desire, dear, a thousand times more even 
that the delight you give me — " 

"Don't be afraid", I broke in, "you are sweet, you 
couldn't tire me: turn sideways and put your left 
]eg up, and I'll just let my sex caress your clitoris 
back and forth gently; every now and then I'll let it 
go right in until our hairs meet." I kept on this game 
perhaps half an hour until she first sighed and 
sighed and then made awkward movements with her 
pussy which I sought to divine and meet as she 
wished when suddenly she cried: 

"Oh! Oh! hurt me, please! hurt me, or I'll bite 
you! Oh God, oh, oh" — panting, breathless till again 
the tears poured down! 

"You darling!" she sobbed, "how you can love! 
Could you go on forever!" 

For answer I put her hand on my sex: "Just as 
naughty as ever", she exclaimed, "and I am choking, 
breathless, exhausted! Oh, I'm sorry", she went on, 
"but we should get up, for I don't want my help to 
know or guess: niggers talk — " 

I got up and went to the windows; one gave on 
the porch but the other directly on the garden. "What 



SOME STUDY, MORE LOVE. 201 

are you looking at?" she asked coming to me. "I was 
just looking for the best way to get out if ever we 
were .surprised", I said, "if we leave this window open 
i can always drop into the garden and get away 
quickly." 

"You would hurt yourself', she cried. 

"Not a bit of it", I answered, "I could drop half 
as far again without injury, the only thing is, I must 
have boots on and trousers, or those thorns of yours 
would give me gip !".... "You boy", she exclaimed 
laughing: "I think after your strength and passion. 
it is your boyishness T love best" — and she kissed me 
again and again. 

"I must work", I warned her, "Smith has given 
me a lot to do." "Oh, my dear", she said, her eyes 
filling with tears, "that means you won't come tomor- 
row or", she added hastily, "even the day after.'" 

"I can't possibly", I declared, "I have a good 
week's work in front of me; but you know I'll come 
the first afternoon I can make myself free and I'll let 
you know the day before, sweet!" She looked at me 
with tearful eyes and quivering lips: "love is its own 
torment!" she sighed while I dressed and got away 
quickly. 

The truth was I was already satiated: her passion 
held no tiling new in it: she had taught me all she 
could and had nothing more in her, I thought; while 
Kate was prettier and much younger and a virgin. 
Why shouldn't I confess it! It was Kate's virginity 
attracted me irresistibly: I pictured her legs to my- 
self, her hips and thighs and her sex: she wouldn't 
have a harsh bush of hairs; already I felt the silken 
softness of her triangle: would it be brown or have 
strands of gold in it like her hair! 

The next few days passed in reading the books 
Smith had lent me, especially "Das Kapital", the se- 



202 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

cond book of which, with its frank exposure of the 
English factory system, was simply enthralling: I 
read some of Tacitus, too, and Xenophon with a crib 
and learned a page of Greek every day by heart, and 
whenever I felt tired of work, I laid siege to Kate. 
That is, I continued my plan of campaign: one day 
I called her brother into my room and told Mm true 
stories of buffalo hunting and of fighting with Ind- 
ians; another day I talked theology with the father 
or drew the dear mother out to tell of her girlish days 
in Cornwall: "I never thought I'd come down to work 
like this in my old age; but then children take all and 
give little; I was no better as a girl; I remember" — 
and I got a scene of her brief courtship! 

I had won the whole household long before I said 
a word to Kate beyond the merest courtesies. A week 
or so passed like this till one day I held them all after 
dinner while I told the story of our raid into Mexico. 
I took care, of course, that Kate was out of the room. 
Towards the end of my tale, Kate came in: at once 
I hastened to the end abruptly and after excusing my- 
self, went into the garden. 

Half an hour later I saw she was in my room 
tidying up; I took thought and then went up the out- 
side steps. As soon as I saw her, I pretended sur- 
prise: "I beg your pardon", I said, "I'll just get a book 
and go at once; please don't let me disturb you!" and 
I pretended to look for the book. 

She turned sharply and looked at me fixedly: 
"Why do you treat me like this?" she burst out, 
shaking with indignation. 

"Like what?" I repeated, pretending surprise. 
You know quite well", she went on angrily, hastily: 
at first I thought it was chance, unintentional; now 
I know you mean it. Whenever you're talking or 
telling a story, as soon as I come into the room you 



4<V 



SOME STUDY, MOKE LOVE. 203 

stop and hurry away as if you hated me. Why? 
Why?" she cried with quivering lips, "What have I 
done to make you dislike me so?" and the tears 
gathered in her lovely eyes. 

I felt the moment had come: I put my hands on 
her shoulders and looked with my whole soul into her 
eyes: "Did you never guess, Kate, that it might be 
love, not hate?" I asked. 

"No, no!" she cried, the tears falling, "love doesn't 
act like that!" 

"Fear to miss love does, I can assure you", I 
cried, "I thought at first that you disliked me and al- 
ready I had begun to care for you", (my arms went 
round her waist and I drew her to me) "to love you 
and want you. Kiss me, dear" and at once she gave 
me her lips while my hand got busy on her breasts 
and then went down of itself to her sex. Suddenly 
she looked at me gaily, brightly while heaving a big- 
sigh of relief. "I'm glad, glad!" she said, "if you only 
knew how hurt I was and how I tortured myself; one 
moment I was angry, then I was sad. Yesterday I 
made up my mind to speak, but today I said to my- 
self, I'll just be obstinate and cold as he is and now" 
— and of her own accord she put her arms round my 
neck and kissed me, "you are a dear, dear! Any way ? 
I love you!" 

"You mustn't give me those bird-pecks!" I ex- 
claimed, "those are not kisses: I want your lips to 
open and cling to mine" and I kissed her while my 
tongue darted into her mouth and I stroked her sex 
gently. She flushed, but at first didn't understand,, 
then suddenly she blushed rosy red as her lips grew 
hot and she fairlv ran from the room. 

I exulted: I knew I had won: I must be very 
quiet and reserved and the bird would come to the 
lure; I felt exultingly certain! 



204 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Meanwhile I spent nearly every morning with 
Smith: golden hours! Always, always before we part- 
ed, he showed me some new beauty or revealed some 
new truth: he seemed to me the most wonderful crea- 
ture in this strange, sunlit world. I used to hang en- 
tranced on his eloquent lips! (Strange! I was sixty- 
five before I found such a hero-worshipper as I was 
to Smith, who was then only four or five and twenty!) 
He made me know all the Greek dramatists: Aeschv- 
lus, Sophocles and Euripides and put them for me in 
a truer light than English or German scholars have 
set them yet. He knew that Sophocles was the greatest 
and from his lips I learned every chorus in the Oedi- 
pus Rex and Colonos before I had completely mas- 
tered the Greek grammar; indeed, it was the supreme 
beauty of the literature that forced me to learn the 
language. In teaching me the choruses, he was care- 
ful to point out that it was possible to keep the meas- 
ure and yet mark the accent too: in fact, he made 
classic Greek a living language to me, as living as 
English. And he would not let me neglect Latin: in 
the first year with him I knew poems of Catullus by 
heart, almost as well as I knew Swinburne. Thanks 
to Professor Smith I had no difficulty in entering the 
Junior Class at the University; in fact, after my first 
three or four months' work I was easily the first in 
the class, which included Ned Stevens, the brother of 
Smith's inamorata. I soon discovered that Smith 
was heels over head in love with Kate Stevens, shot 
through the heart as Mercutio would say, with a fair 
girl's blue eye! 

And small wonder, for Kate was lovely; a little 
above middle height with slight, rounded figure and 
most attractive face: the oval, a thought long, rather 
than round, with dainty, perfect features, lit up by 
a pair of superlative grey-blue eyes, eyes by turns 



SOME STUDY, MORE LOVE. 20:> 

delightful and reflective and appealing that mirrored 
a really extraordinary intelligence. She was in the 
Senior Class and afterwards for years held the po- 
sition of Professor of Greek in the University. I shall 
have something to say of her in a later volume of this 
history, for I met her again in New York nearly fifty 
years later. But in 1872 or 73, her brother Ned, a 
handsome lad of eighteen who was in my class, inter- 
ested me more. The only other member of the Senior 
Class of that time was a fine fellow, Ned Bancroft, 
who later came to France with me to study. 

At this time, curiously enough, Kate Stevens was 
by way of being engaged to Ned Bancroft; but al- 
ready it was plain that she was in love with Smith 
and my outspoken admiration of Smith helped her, 
I hope, as I am sure it helped him, to a better mutual 
understanding. Bancroft accepted the situation with 
extraordinary self-sacrifice, losing neither Smith's nor 
Kate's friendship: I have seldom seen nobler self- 
abnegation: indeed his high-mindedness in this crisis 
was what first won my admiration and showed me his 
other fine qualities. 

Almost in the beginning 1 had serious disquie- 
tude: every little while Smith was ill and had to 
keep his bed for a day or two. There was no ex- 
planation of this illness which puzzled me and 
caused me a certain anxiety. 

One day in mid- winter there was a new deve- 
lopment. Smith was in doubt how to act and con- 
fided in me. He had found Professor Kellogg, in 
whose house he lived, trying to kiss the pretty help, 
Rose entirely against her will: Smith was emphatic 
on this point, the girl was struggling angrily to free 
herself, when by chance he interrupted them. 

I relieved Smith's solemn gravity a little by 
roaring with laughter: the idea of an old Professor 



206 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

and clergyman trying to win a young girl by force 
filled me with amusement: "What a fool the man 
must be!" was my English judgment; Smith took 
the American high moral tone at first. 

'Think of his disloyalty to his wife in the same 
house", he cried, "and then the scandal if the girl 
talked and she's sure to talk!" 

"Sure not to talk", I corrected, "girls are afraid 
of the effect of such revelations; besides a word 
from you asking her to shield Mrs. Kellogg will 
ensure her silence." 

"Oh, I cannot advise her", cried Smith, "I will 
not be mixed up in it: I told Kellogg at the time, 
I must leave the house, yet I don't know where to 
go! It's too disgraceful of him! His wife is really 
a dear woman!" 

For the first time I became conscious of a rooted 
difference between Smith and myself: his high moral 
condemnation on very insufficient data seemed to 
me childish; but no doubt many of my readers will 
think my tolerance a proof of my shameless 
libertinism! However I jumped at the opportunity 
of talking to Rose on such a scabrous matter and at 
the same time solved Smith's difficulty by proposing 
that he should come and take room and board with 
the Gregorys — a great stroke of practical diplomacy 
on my part, or so it appeared to me; for thereby I 
did the Gregorys, Smith and myself an immense, an 
incalculable service. Smith jumped at the idea, 
asked me to see about it at once and let him know 
and then rang for Rose. 

She came half scared, half angry, on the defen- 
sive, I could see; so I spoke first, smiling: "Oh Rose", 
I said, "Professor Smith has been telling me of your 
trouble: but you ought not to be angry: for you are 



SOME STUDY, MORE LOVE. 207 

so pretty that no wonder a man wants to kiss you: 
you must blame your lovely eyes and mouth" — 

Rose laughed outright: she had come expecting 
reproof and found sweet flattery. 

"There's only one thing, Rose", I went on: "the 
story would hurt Mrs. Kellogg if it got out and she's 
not very strong, so you must say nothing about it, 
for her sake: that's what Professor Smith wanted to 
say to you", I added. "I'm not likely to tell", cried 
Rose: "I'll soon forget all about it: but I guess I'd 
better get another job: he's liable to try again though 
I gave him a good hard slap", and she laughed 
merrily. 

"I'm so glad for Mrs. Kellogg's sake", said Smith 
gravely, "and if I can help you to get another place, 
please call upon me". 

"I guess I'll have no difficulty", said Rose 
flippantly with a shade of dislike of the Professor's 
solemnity: "Mrs. Kellogg will give me a good 
character" and the healthy young minx grinned; 
"besides I'm not sure but I'll go stay home a spell: 
I'm fed up with working and would like a holiday, 
and mother wants me — " 

"Where do you live, Rosef I asked with a keen 
eye for future opportunities; "On the other side of 
the river", she replied, "next door to Elder Conklin's, 
where your brother boards — " she added smiling. 

When Rose went I begged Smith to pack his boxes 
for I would get him the best room at the Gregory's 
and I assured him it was really large and comfortable 
and would hold all his books, etc., and off I went to 
make my promise good. On the way I set myself to 
think how I could turn the kindness I was doing the 
Gregorys to the advantage of my love. I decided to 
make Kate a partner in the good deed, or at least 
a herald of the good news. So when I got home I 

15 



208 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

rang the bell in my room and as I had hoped, Kate 
answered it. When I heard her footsteps I was 
shaking, hot with desire and now I wish to describe 
a feeling I then first began to notice in myself. I 
longed to take possession of the girl, so to speak, 
abruptly, ravish her in fact, or at least thrust both 
hands up her dress at once and feel her bottom and 
sex altogether; but already I knew enough to 
realise certainly that girls prefer gentle and court- 
eous approaches: why? Of the fact I'm sure. So 
I said, "Come in, Kate!" gravely; "I want to ask 
you whether the best bedroom is still free and if you'd 
like Professor Smith to have it, if I could get him to 
come here?" 

"I'm sure Mother would be delighted", she ex- 
claimed. 

"You see", I went on, "I'm trying to serve you 
all I can, yet you don't even kiss me of your own 
accord": she smiled and so I drew her to the bed 
and lifted her up on it: I saw her glance and answer- 
ed it: "The door is shut, dear", and half lying on 
her I began kissing her passionately while my hand 
went up her clothes to her sex. To my delight she 
wore no drawers, but at first she kept her legs tight 
together, frowning: "love denies nothing, Kate", I 
said gravely; slowly she drew her legs apart, half 
pouting, half smiling, and let me caress her sex. When 
her love-juice came I kissed her and stopped: "It's 
dangerous here", I said, "that door you came in by 
is open; but I must see your lovely limbs" and I turned 
up her dress. I hadn't exaggerated; she had limbs 
like a Greek statue and her triangle of brown hair 
lay in little silky curls on her belly and then — the 
sweetest cunny in the world: I bent down and 
kissed it. 

In a moment Kate was on her feet, smoothing 



SOME STUDY, MORE LOVE. 209 

her dress down: "What a boy you are", she exclaimed, 
"but that's partly why I love you; oh, I hope you'll 
love me half as much. Say you will, Sir, and I'll do 
anything you wish!" 

"I will", I replied, "but oh, I'm glad you want 
love: can you come to me to night? I want a couple 
of hours with you uninterrupted." "This afternoon", 
she said, "I'll say I'm going for a walk and I'll come 
to you, dear! They are all resting then or out and I 
shan't be missed." 

I could only wait and think. One thing was fixed 
in me, I must have her, make her mine before Smith 
came: he was altogether too fascinating, I thought, to 
be trusted with such a pretty girl; but I was afraid 
she would bleed and I did not want to hurt her this 
first time, so I went out and bought a syringe and a 
pot of cold cream which I put beside my bed. 

Oh, how that dinner lagged! Mrs. Gregory 
thanked me warmly for my kindness to them all 
(which seemed to me pleasantly ironical!) and Mr. 
Gregory followed her lead; but at length everyone 
had finished and I went to my room to prepare. First 
I locked the outside door and drew down the blinds: 
then I studied the bed and turned it back and arran- 
ged a towel along the edge: happily the bed was just 
about the right height! Then I loosened my trowsers, 
unbuttoned the front and pulled up my shirt: a little 
later Kate put her lovely face in at the door and 
slipped inside. I shot the bolt and began kissing her : 
girls are strange mortals: she had taken off her cor- 
sets just as I had put a towel handy. I lifted up her 
clothes and touched her sex, caressing it gently while 
kissing her; in a moment or two her love-milk came. 

I lifted her up on the bed, pushed down my trow- 
sers, anointed my prick with the cream and then par- 
ting her legs and getting her to pull her knees up, 

15' 



210 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

I drew her bottom to the edge of the bed: she frowned 
at that but I explained quickly, "It may give you a 
little pain, at first, dear; and I want to give you as 
little as possible" and I slipped the head of my cock 
gently, slowly into her. Even greased her pussy was 
very tight and at the very entrance, I felt the ob- 
stacle, her maidenhead in the way: I lay on her and 
kissed her and let her or Mother Nature help me. 

As soon as Kate found that I was leaving it to 
her, she pushed forward boldly and the obstacle 
yielded: "0 — 0" she cried and then pushed forward 
again roughly and my organ went in her to the hilt 
and her clitoris must have felt my belly. Resolutely 
I refrained from thrusting or withdrawing for a min- 
ute or two and then drew out slowly to her lips and 
as I pushed Tommy gently in again, she leaned up 
and kissed me passionately. Slowly with extremest 
care I governed myself and pushed in and out with 
long, slow thrusts though I longed, longed to plunge 
it in hard and quicken the strokes as much as pos- 
sible; but I knew from Mrs. May hew that the long, 
gentle thrusts and slow withdrawals were the aptest 
to excite a woman's passion and I was determined to 
win Kate. 

In two or three minutes she had again let down a 
flow of love- juice or so I believed and I kept right 
on with the love-game, knowing that the first exper- 
ience is never forgotten by a girl and resolved to 
keep on to dinner-time if necessary to make her first 
love- joust ever memorable to her. Kate lasted longer 
than Mrs. Mayhew: I came ever so many times, pas- 
sing ever more slowly from orgasm to orgasm before 
she began to move to me; but at length her breath 
began to get shorter and shorter and she held me to 
her violently, moving her pussy the while up and 
down harshly against my manroot. Suddenly she re- 



SOME STUDY, MORE LOVE. 211 

laxed and fell back: there was no hysteria; but plainly 
I could feel the mouth of her womb fasten on my cock 
as if to suck it. That excited me fiercely and for the 
first time I indulged in quick, hard thrusts till a 
spasm of intensest pleasure shook me and my seed 
spirted or seemed to spirt for the sixth or seventh 
time. 

When I had finished kissing and praising my 
lovely partner and drew away, I was horrified: the 
bed was a sheet of blood and some had gone on my 
pants: Kate's thighs and legs even were all incarnid- 
ined, making the lovely ivory white of her skin, one 
red. You may imagine how softly I used the towel 
on her legs and sex before I showed her the results of 
our love-passage. To my astonishment she was un- 
affected: "You must take the sheet away and burn 
it", she said, "or drop it in the river: I guess it won't 
be the first." 

"Did it hurt very much", I asked. 

"At first a good deal", she replied, "but soon the 
pleasure overpowered the smart and I would not even 
forget the pain: I love you so: I am not even afraid 
of consequences with you: I trust you absolutely and 
love to trust you and run whatever risks you wish." 

"You darling!" I cried, "I don't believe there 
will be any consequences; but I want you to go to the 
basin and use this syringe: I'll tell you why after- 
wards." At once she went over to the basin: "I feel 
funny, weak", she said, "as if I were — I can't 
describe it — shaky on my legs. I'm glad now I don't 
wear drawers in summer: they'd get wet." Her ablu- 
tions completed and the sheet withdrawn and done up 
in paper, I shot back the bolt and we began our talk. I 
found her intelligent and kindly but ignorant and ill- 
read; still she was not prejudiced and was eager to 
know all about babies and how they were made. I 



212 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

told her what I had told Mrs. May hew and something 
more: how my seed was composed of tens of thou- 
sands of infinitesimal tadpole-shaped animalculae — 
Already in her vagina and womb these infinitely little 
things had a race: they could move nearly an inch in 
an hour and the strongest and quickest got up first to 
where her egg was waiting in the middle of her womb. 
My little tadpole, the first to arrive, thrust his head 
into her egg and thus having accomplished his work 
of impregnation, perished, love and death being twins. 

The curious thing was that this indescribably 
small tadpole should be able to transmit all the qual- 
ities of all his progenitors in certain proportions; no 
such miracle was ever imagined by any religious 
teacher. More curious still the living foetus in the 
womb passes in nine months through all the chief 
changes that the human race has gone through in 
countless aeons of time in its progress from the tad- 
pole to the man. Till the fifth month the foetus is 
practically a four-legged animal. 

I told her that it was accepted to-day that the 
weeks occupied in the womb in any metamorphosis 
corresponded exactly to the ages it occupied in reality. 
Thus it was upright, a two-legged animal, ape and 
then man in the womb for the last three months and 
this corresponded nearly to one third of man's whole 
existence on this earth. Kate listened enthralled, I 
thought, till she asked me suddenly: 

"But what makes one child a boy and another a 
girl?" 

"The nearest we've come to a law on the matter", 
I said, "is contained in the so-called law of contra- 
ries: that is, if the man is stronger than the woman, 
the children will be mostly girls; if the woman is 
greatly younger or stronger, the progeny will be 
chiefly boys. This bears out the old English proverb: 



SOME STUDY, MORE LOVE. 



213 



"Any weakling can make a boy, it takes a man to 
make a girl." 

Kate laughed and just then a knock came to the 
door. "Come in!" T cried and the colored maid came 
in with a note: "a lady's just been and left it", said 
Jenny. I saw it was from Mrs. Mayhew, so I cram- 
med it into my pocket saying regretfully: "I must 
answer it soon." Kate excused herself and after a 
long, long kiss went to prepare supper while I read 
Mrs. Mayhew's note, which was short if not exactly 
sweet. 

"Eight days and no Frank, and no news; you 
cannot want to kill me: come to-day if possible. 
Lorna." 

I replied at once, saying I would come on the 
morrow, that I was installing Smith in my boarding- 
house and was so busy I didn't know where to turn, 
but would be with her sure on the morrow and I 
signed "Your Frank". 

That afternoon at five o'clock Smith came and I 
helped to arrange his books and make him comfy. 




MY FIRST VENUS. 

Venus toute entiere a sa proie attchee. 
Chapter XI. 

meant to write nothing but the truth in these 
pages; yet now I'm conscious that my memory 
has played a trick on me: it is an artist in what 
painters call foreshortening: events, that is, which 
took months to happen, it crushes together into days, 
passing, so to speak, from mountain top to mountain 
top of feeling, and so the effect of passion is height- 
ened by the partial elimination of time. I can do 
nothing more than warn my readers that in reality 
some of the love passages I shall describe were se- 
parated by weeks and sometimes by months, that the 
nuggets of gold were occasional "finds" in a desert. 
After all, it cannot matter to my "gentle readers" 
and my good readers will have already divined the 
fact, that when you crush eighteen years into nine 
chapters, you must leave out all sorts of minor hap- 
penings while recording chiefly the important — for- 
tunately these carry the message. 

It was with my knowledge as with my passions: 
day after day I worked feverishly: whenever I met 
a passage such as the building of the bridge in 
Caesar, I refused to burden my memory with the 
dozens of new words because I thought, and still 



MY FIRST VENUS. 215 

think, Latin comparatively unimportant: the nearest 
to a great man the Latins ever produced being Ta- 
citus or Lucretius. No sensible person would take 
the trouble to master a language in order to gain 
acquaintance with the second-rate. But new words in 
Greek were precious to me like new words in English 
and I used to memorize every passage studded with 
them save choruses like that of the birds in Aristo- 
phanes, where he names birds unfamiliar to me in life. 
Smith, I found, knew all such words in both 
languages. I asked him one day and he admitted that 
he had read everything in ancient Greek, following 
the example of Hermann, the famous German scholar, 
and believed he knew almost every word. 

I did not desire any such pedantic perfection. I 
make no pretension to scholarship of any sort and 
indeed learning of any kind leaves me indifferent 
unless it leads to a fuller understanding of beauty 
or that widening of the spirit by sympathy that is 
another name for wisdom. But what I wish to em- 
phasize here is that in the first year with Smith I 
learned by heart dozens of choruses from the Greek 
dramatists and the whole of the "Apologia" and 
"Crito" of Plato, having guessed then and still be- 
lieve that the "Crito" is a model short story, more 
important than any of even Plato's speculations. 
Plato and Sophocles! it was worth while spending 
five years of hard labor to enter into their intimacy 
and make them sister-spirits of one's soul. Didn't 
Sophocles give me Antigone, the prototype of the new 
woman for all time, in her sacred rebellion against 
hindering laws and thwarting conventions, the eter- 
nal model of that dauntless assertion of love that is 
beyond and above sex, the very heart of the Divine! 

And the Socrates of Plato led me to that high 
place where man becomes God, having learned obed- 



216 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

lence to law and the cheerful acceptance of Death; 
but even there I needed Antigone, the twin sister of 
Bazaroff, at least as much, realising intuitively that 
my life-work, too, would be chiefly in revolt and that 
the punishment Socrates suffered and Antigone dared, 
would almost certainly be mine; for I was fated to 
meet worse opponents; after all, Creon was only 
stupid whereas Sir Thomas Horridge was malevolent 
to boot and Woodrow Wilson unspeakable! 

Again I am outrunning my story by half a 
century ! 

But in what I have written of Sophocles and 
Plato, the reader will divine, I hope, my intense love 
and admiration for Smith who led me, as Vergil led 
Dante, into the ideal world that surrounds our earth 
as with illimitable spaces of purple sky, wind-swept 
and star-sown! 

If I could tell what Smith's daily companionship 
now did for me, I would hardly need to write this 
book; for like all I have written, some of the best 
of it belongs as much to him as to me. In his presence 
for the first year and a half, I was merely a sponge, 
absorbing now this truth, now that, hardly cons- 
cious of an original impulse. Yet all the time, too, 
as will be seen, I was advising him and helping him 
from my knowledge of life. Our relation was really 
rather like that of a small, practical husband with 
some wise and infinitely learned Aspasia! I want to 
say here in contempt of probability that in all our 
years of intimacy, living together for over three 
years side by side, I never found a fault in him of 
character or of sympathy, save the one that drew him 
to his death. 

Now I must leave him for the moment and turn 
again to Mrs. Mayhew. Of course I went to her that 
next afternoon even before three. She met me 



MY FIRST VENUS. 217 

without a word so gravely that I did not even kiss 
her: but began explaining what Smith was to me and 
how I could not do enough for him who was 
everything to my mind as she was (God help me!) to 
my heart and body, and I kissed her cold lips while 
she shook her head half sadly. 

"We have a sixth sense, we women, when we 
are in love", she began: "I feel a new influence in 
you; I scent danger in the air you bring with you: 
don't ask me to explain: I can't; but my heart is 
heavy and cold as death ... If you leave me, there'll 
be a catastrophe: the fall from such a height of 
happiness must be fatal ... If you can feel pleasure 
away from me, you no longer love me. I feel none 
except in having you, seeing you, thinking of you 
— none. Oh! why can't you love like a woman loves, 
No! like I love: it would be heaven; for you and you 
alone satisfy the insatiable; you leave me bathed in 
bliss, sighing with satisfaction, happy as the Queen 
of Heaven!" 

"I have much to tell you, new things to say", I 
began in haste. 

"Come upstairs," I broke in interrupting myself 
"I want you as you are now, with the color in your 
cheeks, the light in your eyes, the vibration in your 
voice, come!" 

And she came like a sad sybil. "Who gave you 
the tact?" she began while we were undressing, "the 
tact to praise always?" I seized her and stood naked 
against her body to body: "What new thing have 
you to tell me?" I asked, lifting her into the bed 
and getting in beside her, cuddling up to her warmer 
body. 

"There's always something new in my love," she 
cried, cupping my face with her slim hands and taking 
my lips with hers. 



218 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"Oh, how I desired you yesternoon, for I took the 
letter to your house myself and I heard you talking 
in your room perhaps with Smith", she added, 
sounding my eyes with hers; "I'm longing to believe 
it; but when I heard your voice, or imagined I did, 
I felt the lips of my sex open and shut and then it 
began to burn and itch intolerably. I was on the point 
of going in to you; but instead, turned and hurried 
away, raging at you and at myself — " 

"I will not let you even talk such treason," I 
cried, separating her soft thighs, as I spoke, and 
sliding between them. In a moment my sex was in 
her and we were one body, while I drew it out slowly 
and then pushed it in again, her naked body straining 
to mine. 

"Oh" she cried, "as you draw out, my heart follows 
your sex in fear of losing it and as you push in 
again, it opens wide in ecstasy and wants you all, 
all — " and she kissed me with hot lips. 

"Here is something new," she exclaimed, "food 
for your vanity from my love! Mad as you make me 
with your love-thrusts, for at one moment I am hot 
and dry with desire, the next wet with passion, bathed 
in love, I could live with you all my life without 
having you, if you wished it, or if it would do you 
good. Do you believe mef ' 

"Yes," I replied, continuing the love-game: but 
occasionally withdrawing to rub her clitoris with my 
sex and then slowly burying him in her cunt again 
to the hilt. 

"We women have no souls but love," she said 
faintly, her eyes dying as she spoke: 

"I torture myself to think of some new pleasure 
for you, and yet you'll leave me, I feel you will, for 
some silly girl who can't feel a tithe of what I feel 
or give you what I give — " she began here to breathe 



MY FIRST VENUS. 219 

quickly: "I've been thinking how to give you more 
pleasure; let me try. Your seed, darling, is dear to 
me: I don't want it in my sex; I want to feel you 
thrill and so I want your sex in my mouth, I want 
to drink your essence and I will — " and suiting the 
action to the word she slipped down in the bed and 
took my sex in her mouth and began rubbing it up 
nnd down till my seed spirted in long jets, filling her 
mouth while she swallowed it greedily. 

"Now do I love you, Sir!" she exclaimed, 
drawing herself up on me again and nestling against 
me: "wait till some girl does that to you and you'll 
know she loves you to distraction or better still to 
self-destruction." 

"Why do you talk of any other girl!" I chided 
her, "I don't imagine you going with any other man, 
why should you torment yourself just as cause- 
lessly 1" 

She shook her head: "My fears are prophetic", 
she sighed, "I'm willing to believe it hasn't happened 
yet though — Ah God, the torturing thought! the 
mere dread of your going with another drives me 
crazy; I could kill her, the bitch: why doesn't she 
get a man of her own? How dare she even look at 
you?" and she clasped me tightly to her. Nothing 
loath, I pushed my sex into her again and began 
the slow movement that excited her so quickly and 
me so gradually for even while using all my skill to 
give her the utmost pleasure, I could not help compar- 
ing and I realised surely enough that Kate's pussy 
was smaller and firmer and gave me infinitely more 
pleasure; still I kept on for her delight. And now 
again she began to pant and choke and as I continued 
ploughing her body and touching her womb with 
every slow thrust she began to cry inarticulately with 
little short cries growing higher in intensity till 



220 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

suddenly she squealed like a shot rabbit and then 
shrieked with laughter, breaking down in a storm 
of sighs and sobs and floods of tears. 

As usual, her intensity chilled me a little; for her 
paroxysm aroused no corresponding heat in me, 
tending even to check my pleasure by the funny, 
irregular movements she made! 

Suddenly I heard steps going away from the 
door, light stealing steps: who could it bel The 
servant? or — 1 

Lorna had heard them too, and though still 
panting and swallowing convulsively, she listened 
intently while her great eyes wandered in thought. 
I knew I could leave the riddle to her: it was my task 
to reassure and caress her. 

I got up and went over to the open window for 
a breath of air and suddenly I saw Lily run quickly 
across the grass and disappear in the next house: 
so she was the listener! When I recalled Lorna's 
gasping cries, I smiled to myself. If Lily tried to 
explain them to herself, she would have an uneasy 
hour, I guessed. 

When Lorna had dressed, and she dressed quickly, 
and went downstairs hastily to convince herself, I 
think, that her darky had not spied on her, I waited 
in the sitting-room: I must warn Lorna that my 
"studies" would only allow me to give one day a week 
to our pleasures. 

"Oh!" she cried, turning pale as I explained, 
"didn't I know it!" 

"But Lorna," I pleaded, "didn't you say you 
could do without me altogether if 'twas for my good!" 

"No, no, no! a thousand times no!" she cried, 
"I said if you were with me always, I could do without 
passion; but this starvation fare once a week! Go, 
go!" she cried, "or I'll say something I'll regret. Go!" 



MY FIRST VENUS. 221 

and she pushed me out of the door and thinking it 
better in view of the future, I went. 

The truth is, I was glad to get away: novelty is 
the soul of passion. There's an old English proverb: 
"fresh cunt, fresh courage". On my way home I 
thought oftener of the slim, dark figure of Lily than 
of the woman every hill and valley of whose body was 
now familiar to me, whereas Lily with her narrow 
hips and straight flanks must have a tiny sex I 
thought ; — "D n Lily" and I hastened to Smith. 

We went down to supper together and I intro- 
duced Smith to Kate: they were just polite; but when 
she turned to me she scanned me curiously, her brows 
lifting in a gesture of "I know what I know" which 
was to become familiar to me in the sequel. 

After supper I had a long talk with Smith in his 
room, a heart to heart talk which altered our relations. 

I have already mentioned that Smith got ill every 
fortnight or so. I had no inkling of the cause, no 
notion of the scope of the malady. This evening he 
grew reminiscent and told me everything. 

He had thought himself very strong, it appeared, 
till he went to Athens to study. There he 
worked prodigiously and almost at the beginning of 
his stay came to know a Greek girl of a good class 
who talked Greek with him and finally gave herself 
to him passionately. Being full of youthful vigor 
always quickened by vivid imaginings, he told me 
that he usually came the first time almost as soon 
as he entered and that in order to give his partner 
pleasure, he had to come two or three times and this 
drained and exhausted him. He admitted that he had 
abandoned himself to this fierce love-play day after 
day in and out of season. When he returned to the 
United States, he tried to put his Greek girl out of 



222 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

his head; but in spite of all he could do, he had love- 
dreams that came to an orgasm and ended in emiss- 
ions of seed about once a fortnight. And after a year 
or so these fortnightly emissions gave him intense 
pains in the small of his back which lasted some 
twenty-four hours, evidently till some more seed had 
been secreted. I could not imagine how a fortnightly 
emission could weaken and distress a young man of 
Smith's vigor and health; but as soon as I had wit- 
nessed his suffering I set my wits to work and told 
him of the trick by which I had brought my wet- 
dreams to an end in the English school. 

Smith at once consented to try my remedy and 
as the fortnight was about up, I went at once in 
search of whipcord, and tied up his unruly member 
for him night after night. For some days the remedy 
worked, then he went out and spent the afternoon and 
night at Judge Stevens' and he was ill again. Of 
course, there had been no connection: indeed, in my 
opinion, it would have been much better for Smith 
if there had been, but the propinquity of the girl 
he loved and, of course, the kissings that are always 
allowed to engaged couples by American custom, took 
place unchecked and when he went to sleep, his 
dreaming ended in an orgasm. The worst of it was 
that my remedy having prevented his dreaming from 
reaching a climax for eighteen or twenty days, he 
dreamed a second time and had a second wet dream, 
which brought him to misery and even intenser pain 
than usual. 

I combatted the evil with all the wit I possessed. 
I got Ned Stevens to lend the Professor a horse; I 
had Blue Devil out and we went riding two or three 
times a week. I got boxing gloves too and soon either 
Ned or I had a bout with Smith every day: gradually 
these exercises improved his general health; and when 



# 




r * 










\ 



MY FIRST VENUS. 223 

I could tie on the whipcord every night for a month 
or two, he put on weight and gained strength sur- 
prisingly. 

The worst of it was that this improvement in 
health always led to a day or two spent with his 
betrothed, which undid all the good. I advised him 
to marry and then control himself rigorously; but he 
wanted to get well first and be his vigorous self again. 
I did all I knew to help him but for a long time I 
had no suspicion that an occasional wet-dream could 
have serious consequences. We used to make fun 
of them as schoolboys: how could 1 imagine — but 
as it is the finest, most highly strung natures that are 
most apt to suffer in this way, I will tell what hap- 
pened step by step: suffice it to say here that he was 
in better health when staying with me at the 
Gregory's than he had been before and I continually 
hoped for a permanent improvement. 

After our talk that first night in Gregory's, I 
went downstairs to the dining-room, hoping to find 
Kate alone: I was lucky: she had persuaded her 
mother, who was tired, to go to bed and was just 
finishing her tidying up. 

"I want you so, Kate," I said, trying to kiss her: 
she drew her head aside: "That's why you've kept 
away all afternoon" I suppose; and she looked at me 
with sidelong glance. An inspiration came to me: 
"Kate", I exclaimed, "I had to be fitted for my new 
clothes!" "Forgive me", she cried at once, that excuse 
being valid: "I thought, T feared — oh I'm suspicious 
without reason, I know, am jealous without cause, 
there! I confess!" and the great hazel eyes turned on 
me full of love. 

I played with her breasts, whispnng "When 
am J to see you naked, Katel 1 want to; when?" 
"You've seen most of me!" and she laughed joyously! 

16 



ii- 

u 



224 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"All right," I said, turning away, "if you are re- 
solved to make fun of me and be mean to me — " 

"Mean to you!" she cried, catching me and swing- 
ing me round, "I could easier be mean to myself. I'm 
glad you want to see me, glad and proud, and to-night, 
if you'll leave your door open, I'll come to you: mean, 
oh - -' and she gave her soul in a kiss. 
'Isn't it risky 1" I asked. 

'I tried the stairs this afternoon," she glowed, 
"they don't creak: no one will hear, so don't sleep 
or I'll surprise you" — By way of sealing the com- 
pact, I put my hand up her clothes and caressed her 
sex; it was hot and soon opened to me. 

"There now, Sir, go!" she smiled, "or you'll make 
me very naughty and I have a lot to do!" 

"How do you mean 'naughty'," I said, "tell me 
what you feel? please!" 

"I feel my heart beating", she said, "and, and — 
oh! wait till tonight and I'll try to tell you, dear!" and 
she pushed me out of the door. 

For the first time in my life I notice here that 
the writer's art is not only inferior to reality in 
keenness of sensation and emotion; but also more 
same, monotonous even, because incapable of showing 
the tiny, yet ineffable differences of the same feeling 
which difference of personality brings with it. I seem 
to be repeating myself in describing Kate's love after 
Mrs. Mayhew's, making the girl's feelings a fainter re- 
plica of the woman's. In reality the two were com- 
pletely different. Mrs. Mayhew's feelings long re- 
pressed flamed with the heat of an afternoon in July 
or August; while in Kate's one felt the freshness and 
cool of a summer morning, shot through with the sug- 
gestion of heat to come. And this comparison even is 
inept because it leaves out of the account, the effect 
of Kate's beauty, the great hazel eyes, the rosied 



MY FIRST VENUS. 225 

skin, the superb figure. Besides there was a glamour 
of the spirit about Kate: Lorna Mayhew would never 
give me a new note that didn't spring from passion; 
in Kate I felt a spiritual personality and the thrill of 
undeveloped possibilities. And still using my utmost 
skill, I haven't shown my reader the enormous super- 
iority of the girl and her more unselfish love. But I 
haven't finished yet. 

Smith had given me "The Mill on the Floss" to 
read; I had never tried George Eliot before and T 
found that this book almost deserved Smith's praise. 
I had read till about one o'clock when my heart heard 
her; or was it some thrill of expectance! The next 
moment my door opened and she came in with the 
mane of hair about her shoulders and a long dressing 
gown reaching to her stockinged feet. I got up like 
a flash; but she had already closed the door and bolted 
it; I drew her to the bed and stopped her from 
throwing off the dressing-gown: "let me take off your 
stockings first", I whispered, "I want you all imprint- 
ed on me!" 

The next moment, she stood there naked, the 
flickering flame of the candle throwing quaint arabes- 
ques of light and shade on her beautiful ivory body: 
I gazed and gazed: from the navel down she was 
perfect; I turned her round and the back too, the 
bottom even was faultless though large; but alas! 
the breasts were far too big for beauty, too soft to 
excite! I must think only of the bold curve of her 
hips, I reflected, the splendor of the firm thighs, the 
flesh of which had the hard outline of marble and her 
— sext I put her on the bed and opened her thighs: 
her pussy was ideally perfect. 

At once I wanted to get into her; but she pleaded: 
"please, dear, come into bed : I'm cold and want you." 
So in I got and began kissing her. 

16* 



226 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Soon she grew warm and I pulled off my night- 
shirt and my middle finger was caressing her sex 
that opened quickly: "E — E!" she said drawing 
in her breath quickly: "it still hurts." I put my sex 
gently against hers, moving it up and down slowly 
till she drew up her knees to let me in; but as soon 
as the head entered, her face puckered a little with 
pain and' as I had had a long afternoon, I was the 
more inclined to forbear and accordingly I drew away 
pjid took place beside her: 

"I cannot bear to hurt you," I said, "love's plea- 
sure must be mutual". 

"You're sweet!" she whispered, "I'm glad you 
stopped; for it shows you really care for me and not 
just for the pleasure!" and she kissed me lovingly. 

"Kate, reward me," I said, "by telling me just 
what you felt when I first had you" and I put her 
hand on my hot stiff sex to encourage her. 

"It's impossible," she said, flushing a little, "there 
was such a throng of new feelings; why, this evening 
waiting in bed for the time to pass and thinking 
of you, I felt a strange prickling sensation in the 
inside of my thighs that I never felt before and now" 
— and she hid her glowing face against my neck, 
"I feel it again!" 

"Love is funny, isn't itf" she whispered the next 
moment: "now the pricking sensation is gone and 
the front part of my sex burns and itches, Oh! I must 
touch it!" 

"Let me," I cried, and in a moment I was on her, 
working my organ up and down on her clitoris, the 
porch, so to speak, of Love's temple. A little later 
she herself sucked the head into her hot, dry pussy 
and then closed her legs as if in pain to stop me 
going further; but I began to rub my sex up and 
down on her tickler, letting it slide right in, every 



MY FIRST VENUS. 227 

now and then, till she panted and her love-juice came 
and my weapon sheathed itself in her naturally. I 
soon began the very slow and gentle in-and-out move- 
ments which increased her excitement steadily while 
giving her more and more pleasure, till I came and 
immediately she lifted my chest up from her breasts 
with both hands and showed me her glowing face. 
"Stop, boy," she gasped, "please: my heart's 
fluttering so! I came too, you know, just with you" 
and indeed I felt her trembling all over convul- 
sively. 

I drew out and for safety's sake got her to use 
the syringe, having already explained its efficacy to 
her; she was adorably awkward and when she had 
finished I took her to bed again and held her to me, 
kissing her. "So you really love me, Kate!" 

"Really," she said, "you don't know how much!" 

"I'll try never to suspect anything or be jealous 
again," she went on, "it's a hateful feeling, isn't it? 
But I want to see your class-room: would you take 
me up once to the University f ' 

"Why, of course", I cried, "I should be only too 
glad; I'll take you tomorrow afternoon, or better 
still", I added, "come up the hill at four o'clock and 
I'll meet you at the entrance." 

And so it was settled and Kate went back to 
her room as noiselessly as she had come. 

The next afternoon I found her waiting in the 
University Hall ten minutes before the hour; for our 
lectures beginning at the hour always stopped after 
forty-five minutes to give us time to be punctual at 
any other class-room. After showing her everything 
of interest, we walked home together laughing and 
talking, when, a hundred yards from Mrs. Mayhew's, 
we met that lady, face to face. I don't know how I 
looked, for being a little short-sighted I hadn't re- 



228 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

cognized her till she was within ten yards of me; but 
her glance pierced me. She bowed with a look that 
look us both in, I lifted my hat and we passed on. 

"Who's that?" exclaimed Kate, "what a strange 
look she gave us!" 

"She's the wife of a gambler," I replied as in- 
differently as I could, "he gives me work now and 
then" I went on, strangely forecasting the future. 
Kate looked at me probing, then: "I don't mind; but 
Tin glad she's quite old!" 

"As old as both of us put together!" I added 
traitorously, and we went on. 

These love-passages with Mrs. Mayhew and Kate, 
plus my lessons and my talks with Smith, fairly re- 
present my life's happenings for this whole year 
from seventeen to eighteen, with this solitary quali- 
fication that my afternoons with Lorna became less 
and less agreeable to me. But now I must relate 
happenings that again affected my life. 

I hadn't been four mouths with the Gregorys 
when Kate told me that my brother Willie had ceased 
to pay my board for more than a fortnight ; she added 
sweetly : 

"It doesn't matter, dear, but I thought you ought 
to know and I'd hate any one to hurt you, so I took it 
on myself to tell you". I kissed her, said it was sweet 
of her, and went to find Willie; he made excuses 
voluble but not convincing and ended up by giving 
me a cheque while begging me to tell Mrs. Gregory 
that he, too, would come and board with her. 

The incident set me thinking. I made Kate pro- 
mise to tell me if he ever failed again to pay what 
was due and I used the happening to excuse myself to 
Lorna. I went to see her and told her that I must 
think at once of earning my living. I had still some 
five hundred dollars left but I wanted to be before- 



MY FIEST VENUS. 229 

hand with need: besides it gave me a good excuse for 
not visiting her even weekly. "I must work!' 1 I 
kept repeating though I was ashamed of the lie. 

"Don't whip me, dear!" she pleaded; "my impot- 
ence to help you is painful enough; give me time to 
think. I know Mayhew is quite well off: give me a 
day or two, but come to me when you can. You see, 
I've no pride where you are concerned: I just beg 
like a dog for kind treatment for my love's sake. I 
wouldn't have believed that I could be so transformed. 
I was always so proud: my husband calls me 'proud 
and cohT, me cold! It's true I shiver when I hear 
your voice, but it's the shivering of fever. When you 
came in just now unexpectedly and kissed me, waves 
of heat swept over me: my womb moved inside me. 
I never felt that till 1 had loved you and now, of 
course, my sex burns — I wish I were cold: a cold 
woman could rule the world — 

"But no! I wouldn't change. Just as I never 
wished to be a man, never; though other girls used to 
say they would like to change their sex; I, never! 
And since I've been married, less than ever. What's 
a man? His love is over before ours begins — " 

"Really!" I broke in grinning. 

"Not you, my beloved !" she cried, "oh, not you; 
but then you are more than man! Come, don't let us 
waste time in talk. Now I have you, take me to our 
Heaven. I'm ready, 'ripe-ready' is your word: I go 
to our bed as to an altar. If I'm only to have you 
even less than once a week, don't come again for ten 
days: I shall be well again then and you can surely 
come to me a few days running: I want to reach the 
heights and hug the illusion, cramming one hot week 
with bliss and then death for a fortnight. What rags 
we women are! Come, dear, I will be your sheath 
and you shall be the sword and drive right into me — 



230 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

But I'll help you", she cried suddenly: "Was it that 
girl told you, you owed money for food? (I nodded 
and she glowed.) Oh, I'll help, never fear! I never 
liked that girl: she's brazen and conceited and — 
Oh! Why did you walk with her?" 

"She wanted to see the University", I said, "and 
I could not well refuse her." "Oh, pay her" she cried, 
"but don't walk with her. She's a common thing, 
fancy her mentioning money to you, my dear!" 

That same evening I got a note from Lorna, 
saying her husband wanted to see me. 

I met the little man in the sitting-room and he 
proposed that I should come to his rooms every eve- 
ning after supper and sit in a chair near the door 
reading; but with a Colt's revolver handy so that no 
one could rob him and get away with the plunder. 

"I'd feel safer", he ended up, "and my wife tells 
me you're a sure shot and used to a wild life: what 
do you say? I'd give you sixty dollars a month and 
more than half the time you'd be free before mid- 
night." 

"It's very kind of you", I exclaimed with hot 
cheeks, "and very kind of Mrs. Mayhew too: I'll do 
it and I beg you to believe that no one will bother 
you and get away with a whole skin", and so it was 
settled. 

Aren't women wonderful! In half a day she had 
solved my difficulty and I found the hours spent in 
Mayhew's gambling rooms were more valuable than 
I had dreamed. The average man reveals himself in 
gaming more than in love or drink and I was astonished 
to discover that many of the so-called best citizens had 
a flutter with Mayhew from time to time. I don't be- 
lieve they had a fair deal, he won too constantly for 
that; but it was none of my business so long as the 
clients accepted the results: and he often showed 



MY FIRST VENUS. 231 

kindness by giving back a few dollars after he had 
skinned a man of all he possessed. 

Naturally the fact that I was working with her 
husband threw me more into Mrs. Mayhew's society: 
twice or so a week I had to spend the afternoon with 
her, and the constraint irked me. Kate, too, objected 
to my visits: she had too much pride to speak openly 
but one day she had seen me go in to Mrs. Mayhew's 
and I think divined the rest; for at first she was cold 
to me and drew away even from my kisses: "you've 
chilled me", she cried, "I don't think I shall ever love 
you again entirely." But when I got into her and 
really excited her, she suddenly kissed me fervently 
and her glorious eyes had heavy tears in them. "Why 
do you cry, dearl" 1 asked. "Because I cannot make 
you mine as I am all yours!" she cried. "Oh!" she 
went on, clutching me to her, "I think the pleasure 
is increased by the dreadful fear — and the hate — 
oh, love me and me only, love mine!" Of course, I 
promised fidelity; but I was surprised to feel that my 
desire for Kate, too, was beginning to cool. 

The arrangement with the Mayhews came to an 
unexpected and untimely end. Mayhew now and then 
had a tussle with another gambler and after I had 
been with him about three months, a gambler from 
Denver had a great contest with him and afterwards 
proposed that they should join forces and Mayhew 
should come to Denver. "More money to be made 
there in a week", he declared, "than in Lawrence in 
a month." Finally he persuaded Mayhew, who was 
wise enough to say nothing to his wife till the whole 
arrangement was fixed. She raved but could do 
nothing save give in, and so we had to part. Mayhew 
gave me one hundred dollars as a bonus, and Lorna 
one unforgettable, astonishing afternoon which I must 
now try to describe. 



232 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

I did not go near the Mayhews' the day after his 
gift, leaving Lorna to suppose that I looked upon 
-everything as ended. But the day after that I got a 
word from her, an imperious: 

"Come at once, I must see you!" 

Of course I went though reluctantly. 

As soon as I entered the room she rose from the 
sofa and came to me: "if I get you work in Denver, 
will you come out*?" 

"How could I?" 1 asked in absolute astonishment, 
"you know I'm bound here to the University and then 
I want to go into a law-office as well: besides I could 
not leave Smith: I've never known such a teacher: I 
don't believe his equal can be found anywhere." 

She nodded her head: "I see", she sighed, "I sup- 
pose it's impossible; but I must see you", she cried, 
"if I haven't the hope, what do I say! the certainty 
•of seeing you again, I shan't go. I'd rather kill my- 
self! I'll be a servant and stay with you, my darling, 
and take care of you! I don't care what I do so long 
as we are together: I'm nearly crazed with fear that 
I shall lose you." 

"It's all a question of money", I said quietly, for 
the idea of her staying behind scared me stiff: "if I 
can earn money, I'd love to go to Denver in my holi- 
days. It must be gorgeous there in summer six thou- 
sand odd feet above sea-level: I'd delight in it." 

"If I send you the money, you'll cornel" she asked 
briefly. 

I made a face: "I can't take money from — a 
love", (I said "love" instead of "woman": it was not 
so ugly) I went on, "but Smith says he can get me 
work and I have still a little: I'll come in the holidays." 

"Holy days they'll be to me!" she said solemnly, 
and then with quick change of mood, "I'll make a 
beautiful room for our love in Denver; but you must 



MY FIRST VENUS. 233 

come for Christmas, I could not wait till midsummer: 
oh, how I shall ache for you — ache!" 

"Come upstairs", I coaxed and she came, and we 
went to bed: I found her mad with desire; but after 
I had brought her in an hour to hysteria and she lay 
In my arms crying, she suddenly said: "he promised 
to come home early this afternoon and I said I'd have 
a surprise for him. When he finds us together like 
this, it'll be a surprise, won't it?" 

"But you're mad!" I cried, getting out of bed in 
a flash, "I shall never be able to visit you in Denver 
if we have a row here!" 

"That's true", she said as if in a dream, "that's 
true: it's a pity: I'd love to have seen his foolish face 
stretched to wonder; but you're right. Hurry!" she 
cried and was out of the room in a twinkling. 
When she returned, I was dressed. 
"Go downstairs and wait for me", she comman- 
ded, "on our sofa. If he knocks, open the door to 
him; that'll be a surprise, though not so great a one 
as I had planned", she added, laughing shrilly. 

"Are you going without kissing me?" she cried 
when I was at the door, "Well, go, it's all right, go! 
for if I felt your lips again, I might keep you." 

I went downstairs and in a few moments she 
followed me. "I can't bear you to go!" she cried, 
"how partings hurt!" she whispered. "Why should 
we part again, love mine?" and she looked at me 
with rapt eyes. 

"This life holds nothing worth having but love; 
let us make love deathless, you and I, going together 
to death. What do we lose? Nothing! This world 
is an empty shell! Come with me, love, and we'll 
meet Death together!" 

"Oh, I want to do such a lot of things first", I 
exclaimed, "Death's empire is eternal; but this brief 



234 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

taste of life, the adventure of it, the change of it, the 
huge possibilities of it beckon me — I can't leave it.'* 

"The change!" she cried with dilating nostrils 
while her eyes darkened, "the change!" 

"You are determined to misunderstand me," I 
cried, "is not every day a change?" 

"I am weary", she cried, "and beaten: I can only 
beg you not to forget your promise to come — ah!" 
and she caught and kissed me on the mouth: "I shall 
die with your name on my lips", she said, and turned 
to bury her face in the sofa cushion. I went: what 
else was there to do 1 ? 

I saw them off at the station: Lorna had made 
me promise to write often, and swore she would write 
every day and she did send me short notes daily for 
a fortnight: then came gaps ever lengthening: 
"Denver society was pleasant and a Mr. Wilson, a 
student, was assiduous: he comes every day", she 
wrote. Excuses finally, little hasty notes, and in two 
months her letters were formal, cold; in three months 
they had ceased altogether. 

The break did not surprise me: I had taught 
her that youth was the first requisite in a lover for 
a woman of her type: she had doubtless put my pre- 
cepts into practice: Mr. Wilson was probably as near 
the ideal as I was and very much nearer to hand. 

The passions of the senses demand propinquity 
and satisfaction and nothing is more forgetful than 
pleasures of the flesh. If Mrs. Mayhew had given me 
little, I had given her even less of my better self. 



HARD TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 

Chapter XII. 

^o far I had had more good fortune than falls to the 
*^ lot of most youths starting in life; now I was 
to taste ill-luck and be tried as with fire. I had been 
so taken up with my own concerns that I had hardly 
given a thought to public affairs ; now I was forced to 
take a wider view. 

One day Kate told me that Willie was heavily in 
arrears: he had gone back to Deacon Conkling's to 
live on the other side of the Kaw River and I had 
naturally supposed that he had paid up everything 
before leaving. Now I found that he owed the Gre- 
gorys sixty dollars on his own account and more than 
that on mine. 

I went across to him really enraged. If he had 
warned me, I should not have minded so much; but to 
leave the Gregorys to tell me, made me positively 
dislike him and I did not know then the full extent 
of his selfishness. Years later my sister told me that 
he had written time and again to my father and got 
money from him, alleging that it was for me and that 
I was studying and couldn't earn anything: "Willie 
kept us poor, Frank", she said, and I could only bow 
my head; but if I had known this fact at the time, it 
would have changed all my relations with Willie. 



236 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

As it was, I found him in the depths. Carried 
away by his optimism, he had bought real estate in 
1871 and 1872, mortgaged it for more than he gave 
and as the boom continued, he had repeated this game 
time and again till on paper and in paper he reckoned 
he had made a hundred thousand dollars. This he 
had told me and I was glad of it for his sake, un- 
feignedly glad. 

It was easy to see that the boom and inflation 
period had been based at first on the extraordinary 
growth of the country through the immigration and 
trade that had followed the Civil War. But the 
Franco-German war had wasted wealth prodigiously, 
deranged trade too, and diverted commerce into new 
channels. France and then England first felt the 
shock : London had to call in monies lent to American 
railways and other enterprises. Bit by bit even Ame- 
rican optimism was overcome for immigration in 1871 
and 1872 fell off greatly and the foreign calls for cash 
exhausted our banks. The crash came in 1873; nothing 
like it was seen again in these States till the slump 
of 1907 which led to the founding of the Federal Re- 
serve Bank. 

Willie's fortune melted almost in a moment: this 
mortgage and that, had to be met and could only be 
met by forced sales with no buyers except at minimum 
values. When I talked to him, he was almost in 
despair; no money: no property: all lost; the pro- 
duct of three years' hard work and successful specu- 
lation all swept away. Could I help him? If not, 
he was ruined. He told me then he had drawn all 
he could from my father : naturally I promised to help 
him; but first I had to pay the Gregorys and to my 
astonishment he begged me to let him have the money 
instead. "Mrs. Gregory and all of 'em like you", he 
pleaded, "they can wait, I cannot; I know of a pur- 



HARD TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 237" 

chase that could be made that would make me rich 
again!" 

I realised then that he was selfish through and 
through, conscienceless in egotistic greed. I gave up 
my faint hope that he would ever repay me: hence- 
forth he was a stranger to me and one that I did not 
even respect, though he had some fine, ingratiating 
qualities. 

I left him to walk across the river and in a few 
blocks met Rose. She looked prettier than ever and 
I turned and walked with her, praising her beauty 
to the skies and indeed she deserved it; short green 
sleeves, I remember, set off her exquisite, plump, 
white arms. I promised her some books and made 
her say she would read them; indeed I was astonished 
by the warmth of her gratitude: she told me it was 
sweet of me, gave me her eyes and we parted the best 
of friends, with just a hint of warmer relationship 
in the future. 

That evening I paid the Gregorys, Willie's debt 
and my own and — did not send him the balance of 
what I possessed as I had promised; but instead, a 
letter telling him I had prefered to cancel his debt to 
the Gregorys. 

Next day he came and assured me he had promis- 
ed monies on the strength of my promise, had bought 
a hundred crates, too, of chickens to ship to Denver 
and had already an offer from the Mayor of Denver 
at double what he had given. I read the letters and 
wire he showed me and let him have four hundred 
dollars, which drained me and kept me poor for 
months; indeed, till I brought off the deal with Ding- 
wall which I am about to relate which put me on my 
feet again in comfort. 

I should now tell of Willie's misadventure with 
his car-load of chickens: it suffices here to say that 



238 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

he was cheated by his purchaser and that I never saw 
a dollar of all I had loaned him. 

Looking back I understand that it was probably 
the slump of 1873 that induced the Mayhews to go to 
Denver; but after they left, I was at a loose end for 
some months. I could not get work though I tried 
everything: I was met everywhere with the excuse: 
"hard times: hard times!" At length I took a place 
as waiter in the Eldridge House, the only job I could 
find that left most of the forenoon free for the Uni- 
versity. Smith disliked this new departure of mine 
and told me he would soon find me a better post, and 
Mrs. Gregory was disgusted and resentful — partly 
out of snobbishness, I think. From this time on I 
felt her against me and gradually she undermined my 
influence with Kate: I soon knew I had fallen in 
public esteem too, but not for long. 

One day in the fall Smith introduced me to a 
Mr. Rankin, the cashier of the First National Bank, 
who handed over to me at once the letting of Liberty 
Hall, the one hall in the town large enough to accomo- 
date a thousand people: it had a stage, too, and so 
could be used for theatrical performances. I gave up 
my work in the Eldridge House and instead used to 
sit in the box-office of the Hall from two every after- 
noon till seven, and did my best to let it advantage- 
ously to the advance agents of the various travelling 
shows or lecturers. I received sixty dollars a month 
for this work and one day got an experience which 
has modified my whole life, for it taught me how 
money is made in this world and can be made by any 
intelligent man. 

One afternoon the advance agent of the Hatherly 
Minstrels came into my room and threw down his 
card. 



HARD TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 239 

"This old one-hoss shay of a town", he cried, 
"should wear grave-clothes." 

"What's the matter?" I asked. "Matter !" he re- 
peated scornfully, "I don't believe there's a place in 
the hull God d — d town big enough to show our 
double-crown Bills! Not one: not a place. And I 
meant to spend ten thousand dollars here in adver- 
tising the great Hatherly Minstrels, the best show on 
earth: they'll be here for a hull fortnight and by God, 
you won't take my money: you don't want money in 
this dead and alive hole!" 

The fellow amused me: he was so convinced and 
outspoken that I took to him. As luck would have it 
I had been at the University till late that day and had 
not gone to the Gregory's for dinner: I was healthily 
hungry: I asked Mr. Dingwall whether he had dined? 

"No, Sir", was his reply, "Can one dine in this 
place?" 

"I guess so'', I replied, "if you'll do me the honor 
of being my guest, I'll take you to a good porterhouse 
steak at least" and I took him across to the Eldridge 
House, a short distance away, leaving a young friend, 
Will Thomson, a doctor's son whom I knew, in my 
place. 

I gave Dingwall the best dinner I could and drew 
him out: he was, indeed, "a live wire" as he phrased 
it and suddenly inspired by his optimism the idea 
came to me that if he would deposit the ten thousand 
dollars he had talked of, I could put up hoardings on 
all the vacant lots in Massachusetts Street and make 
a good thing ont of exhibiting the bills of the various 
travelling shows that visited Lawrence. It wasn't 
the first time I had been asked to help advertise this 
or that entertainment. I put forward my idea 
timidly, yet Dingwall took it up at once: "if you can 
find good security, or a good surety", he said, "I'll 



!/ 



240 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

leave five thousand dollars with vou: Fve no right 
to, but I like you and 111 risk it.'' 

I took Mm across to Mr. Rankin, the banker, who 
listened to me benevolently and finally said: 

"Yes", he'd go surety that I'd exhibit a thousand 
bills for a fortnight all down the chief street on hoard- 
ings to be erected at once, on condition that Mr. 
Dingwall paid five thousand dollars in advance, and 
he gave Mr. Dingwall a letter to that effect and then 
told me pleasantly he held five thousand and some 
odd dollars at my service. 

Dingwall took the next train west, leaving me to 
put up hoardings in a month, after getting first of all 
the permission from the lot-owners. To cut a long 
story short, I got the permission from a hundred 
lot-owners in a week through my brother Willie, who 
as an estate agent knew them all. Then I made a con- 
tract with a little English carpenter and put the 
hoardings up and got the bills all posted three days 
before the date agreed upon. Hatherly's Minstrels 
had a great fortnight and everyone was content. From 
that time on, I drew about fifty dollars a week as my 
profit from letting the hoardings, in spite of the 
slump. 

Suddenly Smith got a bad cold: Lawrence is 
nearly a thousand feet above sea-level and in winter 
can be as icy as the Pole. He began to cough, a 
nasty, little, dry hacking cough: I persuaded him to 
see a doctor and then to have a consultation, the result 
being that the specialists all diagnosed tuberculosis 
and recommended immediate change to the milder 
east. For some reason or other, I believe because an 
editorial post on the "Press" in Philadelphia was 
offered to him, he left Lawrence hastily and took up 
his residence in the Quaker City. 

His departure had notable results for me. First 



HAKD TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 241 

of all, the spiritual effect astonished me. As soon as 
he went, I began going over all he had taught me, 
especially in economics and metaphysics: bit by bit I 
fame to the conclusion that his Marxian communism 
was only half the truth and probably the least im- 
portant half: his Hegelianism, too, which I have 
hardly mentioned, was pure moonshine in my opinion: 
extremely beautiful at moments, as the moon is when 
silvering purple clouds: "history is the development 
of the Spirit in time: Nature is the projection of the 
idea in space", sounds wonderful; but it's moon- 
shiney, and not very enlightening. 

In the first three months of Smith's absence, my 
own individuality sprang upright, like a sapling that 
has long been bent almost to breaking, so to speak, 
by a superincumbent weight and I began to grow with 
a sort of renewed youth. Now for the first time, 
when about nineteen years of age, I came to self- 
consciousness as Frank Harris and began to deal 
with life in my own way and under this name, Frank. 

As soon as 1 returned from the Eldridge House 
to lodge with the Gregorys again, Kate showed herself 
just as kind to me as ever; she would come to my 
bedroom twice or thrice a week and was always 
welcome; but again and again I felt that her mother 
was intent on keeping us apart as much as possible 
and at length she arranged that Kate should pay a 
visit to some English friends who were settled in 
Kansas City. Kate postponed the visit several times: 
but at length she had to yield to her mother's entreat- 
ies and advice. By this time my hoardings were 
bringing me in a good deal and so I proposed to 
accompany Kate and spend the whole night with her 
in some Kansas City hotel. 

We got to the hotel about ten and bold as brass 
I registered as Mr. and Mrs. William Wallace and 



242 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

went up to our room with Kate's luggage, my heart 
beating in my throat: Kate, too, was "all of a quiver*' 
as she confessed to me a little later; but what a night 
we had! Kate resolved to show me all her love and 
gave herself to me passionately; but she never took 
the initiative, I noticed, as Mrs. Mayhew used to do. 
At first I kissed her and talked a little; but as 
soon as she had arranged her things, I began to un- 
dress her: when her chemise fell, all glowing with 
my caressings she asked: "You really like that?" 
and she put her hand over her sex, standing there 
naked like a Greek Venus. "Naturally", I exclaimed, 
"and these too" and I kissed and sucked her nipples 
till they grew rosy-red. 

"Is it possible to do it — standing up?" she asked 
in some confusion. "Of course", I replied, "let's try! 
But what put that into your head? 

I saw a man and girl once behind the Church 
near our house!" she whispered, "and I wondered 
how — " and she blushed rosily. As I got into her, 
I felt difficulty: her pussy was really small and this 
time seemed hot and dry : I felt her wince and at once 
withdrew: "does it still hurt, Kate?" I asked. 

"A little at first,' she replied; "but I don't mind", 
she hastened to add, "I like the pain!" 

By way of answer I slipped my arms around her 
under her bottom and carried her to the bed: "I will 
not hurt you tonight", I said, "I'll make you give 
down your love- juice first and then there'll be no 
pain". A few kisses and she sighed: "I'm wet now", 
and I got into bed and put my sex against hers. 
"I'm going to leave everything to you", I said, "but 
please don't hurt yourself". She put her hand down 
to my sex and guided it in sighing a little with satis- 
faction as bit by bit it slipped home. 

After the first ecstasy I got her to use the syringe 



HARD TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 243 

while I watched her curiously. When she came back 
to bed, "No danger now", I cried, "no danger, my love 
is queen!" 

"You darling lover!" she cried, her eyes wide as 
if in wonder, "my sex throbs and itches and oh! I 
feel prickings on the inside of my thighs : I want you 
dreadfully, Frank", and she stretched out as she 
spoke, drawing up her knees. 

I got on top of her and softly, slowly let my sex 
slide into her and then began the love-play. When 
my second orgasm came, I indulged myself with 
quick, short strokes, though I knew that she preferred 
the long, slow movement, for I was resolved to give 
her every sensation this golden night. When she 
felt me begin again the long slow movement she 
loved, she sighed two or three times and putting her 
hands on my buttocks drew me close; but otherwise 
made little sign of feeling for perhaps half an hour. 
I kept right on: the slow movement now gave me 
but little pleasure: it was rather a task than a joy; 
but I was resolved to give her a feast. I don't know 
how long the bout lasted: but once I withdrew and 
began rubbing her clitoris and the front of her sex, 
and panting she nodded her head and rubbed herself 
ecstatically against my sex, and after I had begun 
the slow movement again: "please, Frank!" she 
gasped, "I can't stand more: I'm going crazy — chok- 



ing! 



!" 



Strange to say, her words excited me more than 
the act: I felt my spasm coming and roughly, sava- 
gely I thrust in my sex at the same time kneeling 
between her legs so as to be able to play back and 
forth on her tickler as well. "I'll ravish vou!" I cried 
and gave myself to the keen delight. As my seed 
spirted, she didn't speak, but lay there still and white: 
I jumped out of the bed, got a spongeful of cold water 



244 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

and used it on her forehead. At once to my joy she 
opened her eyes: "I'm sorry", she gasped, and took 
a drink of water, "but I was so tired, I must have 
slept. You dear heart!" When I had put down the 
sponge and glass, I slipped into her again and in a 
little while she became hysterical: "I can't help 
crying, Frank love", she sighed, "I'm so happy, dear! 
You'll always love me? Won't youl sweet!" Nat- 
urally I reassured her with promises of enduring 
affection and many kisses; finally I put my left arm 
round her neck and so fell asleep with my head on her 
soft breast. 

In the morning we ran another course, though 
sooth to say, Kate was more curious than passionate. 

"I want to study you!" she said and took my 
sex in her hands and then my balls: "What are they 
for?" she asked and I had to explain that that was 
where my seed was secreted: she made a face, so I 
added, "You have a similar manufactory, my dear; 
but it's inside you, the ovaries they are called, and 
it takes them a month to make one egg whereas my 
balls make millions of tadpoles in an hour. I often 
wonder why!" 

After getting Kate an excellent breakfast, I put 
her in a cab and she reached her friend's house just 
at the proper time; but the girl-friend could never 
understand how they had missed each other at me 
station. 

I returned to Lawrence the same day, wondering 
what Fortune had in store for me! 1 was soon to find 
out that life could be disageeable. 

The University of Kansas had been established 
by the first Western outwanderers and like most 
pioneers they had brains and courage and accordingly 
they put in the statutes that there should be no reli- 
gious teaching of any kind in the University, still 



HARD TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 2+5 

less should religion ever be exalted into a test or 
qualification. 

But in due course Yankees from New England 
swarmed out to prevent Kansas from being made into 
n slave-state and these Yankees were all fanatical 
so-called Christians belonging to every known sect; 
but all distinguished or rather deformed by an intol- 
erant bigotry in matters of religion and sex. Their 
honesty was bv no means so pronounced: each sect 
had to have its own professor; thus history got an 
Episcopalian clergyman who knew no history, and 
Latin a Baptist who, when Smith greeted him in 
Latin, could only blush and beg him not to expose 
his shameful ignorance; the lady who taught French 
was a joke but a good Methodist, 1 believe, and so 
forth and so on: education degraded by sectarian 
jealousies. 

As soon as Professor Smith left the University, 
the Faculty passed a resolution establishing "College 
Chapel" in imitation of an English University custom. 
At once I wrote to the Faculty protesting and citing 
the Statutes of the Founders. The Faculty did not 
answer my letter; but instituted roll-call instead of 
chapel and when they got all the students assembled 
for roll-call, they had the doors locked and began 
]> ravers, ending with a hymn. 

After the roll-call I got up and walked to the 
door and tried in vain to open it. Fortunately the 
door on this side the hall was onlv a makeshift struc- 
ture of thin wooden planks. I stepped back a pace 
or two and appealed again to the Professors seated 
on the platform: when they paid no heed. I ran and 
jumped with my foot against the lock; it sprang and 
the door flew open with a crash. 

Next day by an unanimous vote of the Faculty, 
] was expelled from the University and was free to 



246 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

turn all my attention to law. Judge Stevens told 
me lie would bring action on my behalf against the 
Faculty if I wished and felt sure he'd get damages 
and reinstate me. But the University without Smith 
meant less than nothing to me and why should 1 
waste time fighting brainless bigots? I little knew 
then that that would be the main work of my life; 
but this first time I left my enemies the victory and 
the field, as I probably shall at long last. 

I made up my mind to study law and as a begin- 
ning induced Barker of Barker & Sommerfelcl to let 
me study in his law office. I don't remember how 
I got to know them; but Barker, an immensely fat 
man, was a famous advocate and very kind to me 
for no apparent reason. Sommerfelcl was a tall, fair, 
German-looking Jew, peculiarly inarticulate, almost 
tongue-tied, indeed, in English; but an excellent 
lawyer and a kindly, honest man who commanded the 
respect of all the Germans and Jews in Douglas 
County partly because his fat little father had been 
one of the earliest settlers in Lawrence and one of 
the most successful tradesmen. He kept a general 
provision store and had been kind to all his compa- 
triots in their early struggling days. 

It was an admirable partnership: Sommerfelcl 
had the clients and prepared the briefs; while Barker 
did the talking in court with a sort of invincible 
goodhumor which I never saw equalled save in the 
notorious Englishman, Bottomley. Barker before a 
jury used to exude good-nature and commonsense and 
thus gain even bad cases. Sommerfeld, I'll tell more 1 
about in due time. 

A little later I got depressing news from Smith: 
his cough had not diminished and he missed our 
companionship: there was a hopelessness in the letter 
which hurt my very heart: but what could I do? 



HARD TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 247 

I could only keep on working hard at law, while 
using every spare moment to increase my income by 
adding to my hoardings in two senses. 

One evening I almost ran into Lily. Kate was 
still away in Kansas City, so 1 stopped eagerly 
enough to have a talk, for Lily had always interested 
me. After the first greetings she told me she was 
going home: "they are all out, I believe", she added. 
At once I offered to accompany her and she consent- 
ed. It was early in summer but already warm, and 
when we went into the parlor and Lily took a seat 
en the sofa, her thin white dress defined her slim 
figure seductively. 

"What do you do?" she asked mischievously, 
"now that dear Mrs. Mayhew's gone? You must 
miss her!" she added suggestively. 

"I do," I confessed boldly; "I wonder if you'd 
have pluck enough to tell me the truth?" I went on. 

"Pluck?" She wrinkled her forehead and pursed 
her large mouth; "Courage, I mean", I said. 

'"Oh, I have courage!" she rejoined. 

"Did you ever come upstairs to Mrs. May hew V 
bedroom", I asked, "when I had gone up for a book V 
The black eyes danced and she laughed knowingly. 

"Mrs. Mayhew said that she had taken you 
upstairs to bathe your poor head after dancing", she 
retorted disdainfully, "but I don't care: it's nothing 
to do with me what you do!" 

"It has too," I went on, carrying the war into her 
country. "How?" she asked. 

"Why, the first day you went away and left me 
though 1 was really ill", I said, "so I naturally be- 
lieved that you disliked me though J thought you 
lovely!" 

"I'm not lovely," she said, "my mouth's too big 
and I'm too slight". 



248 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"Don't malign yourself," I replied earnestly, 
"that's just why you are seductive and excite a man." 

"Really?" she cried, and so the talk went on while 
1 cudgelled my brains for an opportunity but found 
none and all the while was in fear lest her father and 
mother should return. At length angry with myself, 
1 got up to go on some pretext and she accompanied 
me to the stoop. I said "Good-bye" on the top step 
and then jumped down by the side with a prayer 
in my heart that she'd come a step or two down and 
she did. There she stood, her hips on a level with 
my mouth; in a moment my hands went up her dress, 
the right to her sex, the left to her bottom behind 
to hold her: the thrill as I touched her half-fledged 
sex was almost painful in intensity. Her first move- 
ment brought her sitting down on the step above me 
and at once my finger was busy in her slit. 

"How dare you!" she cried, but not angrily, "take 
your hand away!" 

"Oh, how lovely your sex is!" I exclaimed as if 
astounded, "Oh, I must see it and have you, you 
miracle of beauty!" and my left hand drew down 
her head for a long kiss while my middle finger still 
continued its caress. Of a sudden her lips grew hot 
and at once I whispered. 

"Won't you love me, dear? I want you so: I'm 
burning and itching with desire (I knew she was!) 
Please, I won't hurt you and I'll take care; please, 
love, no one will know", and the end of it was that 
right there on the porch I drew her to me and put 
my sex against hers and began the rubbing of her 
tickler and front part of her sex that I knew would 
excite her. In a moment she came and her love-dew 
wet my sex and excited me terribly; but I kept on 
frigging her with my manroot while restraining 
myself from coming by thinking of other things, till 



HARD TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 249 

she kissed me. of her own accord and suddenly moving 
forward pushed my prick right into her pussy. 

To my astonishment, there was no obstacle, no 
maidenhead to break through, though her sex itself 
was astonishingly small and tight. T didn't scruple 
then to let my seed come, only withdrawing to the 
lips and nibbing her clitoris the while, and as soon 
as my spirting ceased, my root glided again into her 
and continued tin 4 slow in-and-out movement till she 
panted with her head on my shoulder and asked me 
to stop. I did as she wished, for I knew 1 had won 
another wonderful mistress. 

We went into the house again for she insisted I 
should meet her father and mother, and while we 
were waiting she showed me her lovely tiny breasts, 
scarcely larger than small apples, and 1 became 
aware of something childish in her mind which match- 
ed the childish outlines of her lovely, half-formed hips 
and pussy. 

"I thought that you were in love with Mrs. Mav- 
hew," she confessed, "and I couldn't make out whv 
she made such funny noises; but now T know", she 
added, "you naughty dear; for T felt my heart flutter- 
ing just now and T was nearly choking — " 

I don't know why; but that ravishing of Lily 
made her dear to me: I resolved to see her naked 
and to make her thrill to ecstasy as soon as possible, 
and then and there we made a meeting-place on the 
far side of the church, whence T knew T could bring 
her to my room at the Gregory's in a minute, and 
then I went home, for it was late and T didn't partic- 
ularly want to meet her folks. 

The next night 1 met Lily by the church and took 
her to my room: she laughed aloud with delight as 
we entered; for indeed she was almost like a boy of 



250 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

bold, adventurous spirit. She confessed to me that 
my challenge of her pluck had pleased her intimately : 

"I never took a 'dare'!" she cried in her Ameri- 
can slang, tossing her head. 

"I'll give you two, 11 I whispered, "right now: the 
first is, I dare you to strip naked as I'm going to do, 
and I'll tell you the other when we're in bed". Again 
she tossed her little blue-black head: "pooh!" she 
cried, "I'll be undressed first", and she was. Her 
beauty made my pulses hammer and parched my 
mouth. No one could help admiring her: she was 
very slight, with tiny breasts, as I have said, flat 
belly and straight flanks and hips: her triangle was 
only brushed in, so to speak, with fluffy soft hairs, 
and as I held her naked body against mine, the look 
and feel of her exasperated my desire. I still admired 
Kate's riper, richer, more luscious outlines; her figure 
was nearer my boyish ideal; but Lily represented a 
type of adolescence destined to grow on me mightily. 
In fact as my youthful virility decreased, my love 
of opulent feminine charms diminished, and I grew 
more and more to love slender, youthful outlines with 
the signs of sex rather indicated than pronounced. 
What an all-devouring appetite Rubens confesses with 
the great, hanging breasts and uncouth fat pink 
bottoms of his Yenuses! 

I lifted Lily on to the bed and separated her legs 
to study her pussy. She made a face at me; but as I 
rubbed my hot sex against her little button that I 
could hardly see, she smiled and lay back contentedly. 
In a minute or two her love- juice came and I got into 
bed on her and slipped my root into her small cunt: 
even when the lips were wide open it was closed to the 
eye and this and her slim nakedness excited me uncon- 
trollably. I continued the slow movements for a few 
minutes; but once she moved her sex quickly down 



HARD TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 251 

on mine as 1 drew out to the lips, and gave me an 
intense thrill: I felt my seed coming and I let myself 
go in short, quick thrusts that soon brought on my 
spasm of pleasure and I lifted her little body against 
mine and crushed my lips on hers: she was strangely 
tantalizing, exciting like strong drink. 

I took her out of bed and used the syringe in her, 
explaining its purpose, and then went to bed again 
and gave her the time of her life! Lying between her 
legs but side by side an hour later, 1 dared her to tell 
me how she had lost her maidenhead. I had to tell 
her first what it was. She maintained stoutly that no 
"feller" had ever touched her except me and I 
believed her, for she admitted having caressed herself 
ever since she was ten : at first she could not even get 
her forefinger into her pussy she told me. "What are 
you now!" T asked. "I shall be sixteen next April", 
was her reply. 

About eleven o'clock she dressed and went home ? 
after making another appointment with me. 

The haste of this narrative has many unforeseen 
drawbacks: it makes it appear as if I had had con- 
quest after conquest and little or no difficulty in my 
efTorts to win love. In reality my half dozen victorias 
were spread out over nearly as many years, and time 
and again T met rebuffs and refusals quite sufficient 
to keep even my conceit in decent bounds. But I 
want to emphasize the fact that success in love, like 
success in every department of life, falls usually to 
the tough man unwearied in pursuit. Chaucer was 
right when he makes his Old Wyfe of Bath confess: 
And by a close attendance and attention 
Are we caught, more or less the truth to mention. 

It is not the handsomest man or the most virile 
who has most success with women, though both qual- 
ities smooth the way; but that man who pursues them 



252 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

« 

most assiduously, flatters them most constantly and 
cleverly, and always insists on taking the girl's "No" 
for consent, her reproofs for endearments and even 
a little crossness for a new charm. 

Above all, it is necessary to push forward after 
every refusal, for as soon as a girl refuses, she is apt 
to regret and may grant then what she expressly 
denied the moment before. Yet I could give dozens 
of instances where assiduity and flattery, love-looks 
and words were all ineffective, so much so that I 
should never say with Shakespeare: "he's not a man 
who cannot win a woman". I have generally found, 
too, that the easiest to win were the best worth win- 
ning for me, for women have finer senses for suitabil- 
ity in love than any man. 

Now for an example of one of my many failures 
which took place when I was still a student and had 
fair opportunity to succeed. 

It was a custom in the University for every pro- 
fessor to lecture for forty-five minutes, thus leaving 
each student fifteen minutes at least free to go back 
to his private classroom to prepare for the next lect- 
ture. All the students took turns to use these class- 
rooms for their private pleasure. For example, from 
11:45 to noon each day I was supposed to be working 
in the Junior Class-room and no student would inter- 
fere with me or molest me in anv way. 

One day, a girl Fresher, Grace Weldon by name, 
the daughter of the owner of the biggest department 
store in Lawrence, came to Smith when Miss Stevens 
and I w r ere with him, about the translation of a 
phrase or two in Xenophon. 

"Explain it to Miss Weldon, Frank!" said Smith 
and in a few moments T had made the passage clear to 
her. She thanked me prettily and I said, "If you 
ever want anything T can do, I'll t>e happy to make 



HARD TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 253 

it clear to you, Miss Weldbn; I'm in the Junior Class- 
room from 11:45 to noon always.?' 

She thanked me and a day or two later came to 
me in the class-room with another puzzle and so our 
acquaintance ripened. Almost at once she let me kiss 
her; but as soon as 1 tried to put my hand up her 
clothes, she stopped me. We were friends for nearly 
a year, close friends, and I remember trying all I 
knew one Saturday when I spent the whole day with 
her in our class-room, till dusk came and 1 could not 
get her to 3 iekl. 

The curious thing was 1 could not even soothe the 
smart to my vanity with the belief that she was 
physically cold: on the contrary she was very passion- 
ate; but she had simply made up her mind and 
would not change. 

That Saturday in the class-room she told me 
if she yielded she would hate me: 1 could see no sense 
in this, even though I was to find out later what a 
terrible weapon the Confessional is as used by Irish 
Catholic Priests. To commit a sin is easv: to confess 
it to vour priest is for many women an absolute de- 
terrent. 

A few davs later, I think, 1 got a letter from 
Smith that determined me to go to Philadelphia as 
soon as my hoardings provided me with sufficient 
money. T wrote and told him I'd come and cheered 
him up: I had, not long to wait. 

Early that fall Bradlaugh came to lecture in Lib- 
erty Hall on the French Revolution — a giant of 
a man with a great head, rough-hewn, irregular fea- 
tures and stentorian voice: no better figure of a rebel 
could be imagined. I knew he had been an English 
private soldier for ;i dozen years; but I soon found 
that in spite of his passionate revolt against the 
Christian religion and all its cheap moralistic con- 



254 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

ventions, he was a convinced individualist and saw 
nothing wrong in the despotism of Money which had 
already established itself in Britain, though condemn- 
ed by Carlyle at the end of his "French Eevolution" 
as the vilest of all tyrannies. 

Bradlaugh's speech taught me that a notorious 
and popular man, earnest and gifted, too, and intellec- 
tually honest might be fifty years before his time in 
one respect and fifty years behind the best opinion 
of the age in another province of thought. In the 
great conflict of our day between the "Haves" and the j 
"Have-nots", Bradlaugh played no part whatever: 
he wasted his great powers in a vain attack on the 
rotten branches of the Christian tree, while he should 
have assimilated the spirit of Jesus and used it to 
gild his loyalty to truth. 

About this time Kate wrote that she would not 
be back for some weeks: she declared she was feeling 
another woman; I felt tempted to write, "So am I. 
stay as long as you please"; but instead I wrote an 
affectionate, tempting letter; for I had a real affection 
for her, I discovered. 

When she returned a few weeks later, I felt a;: 
if she were new and unknown and I had to win hei 
again: but as soon as my hand touched her sex, tht 
strangeness disappeared and she gave herself to mt 
with renewed zest. 

I teased her to tell me just what she felt and ai 
length she consented. "Begin with the first time'" 
I begged, "and then tell what you felt in Kansas 
City". 

"It will be very hard", she said, "I'd rather writ 
it for you". "That'll do just as well", I replied, anc 
here is the story she sent me the next day. 

"I think the first time you had me," she began 
"I felt more curiosity than desire: I had so often trie 



HARD TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 255 

to picture it all to myself. When I saw your sex, I 
was astonished, for it looked very big to me and I 
wondered whether you could really get it into my sex 
which I knew was just big enough for my finger to 
go in. Still I did want to feel your sex pushing into 
me, and your kisses and the touch of your hand on 
my sex made me even more eager. When you slipped 
the head of your sex into mine, it hurt dreadfully; 
it was almost like a knife cutting into me, but the 
pain for some reason seemed to excite me and I pushed 
forward so as to get you further in me; I think that's 
what broke my maidenhead. At first I was disappoint- 
ed because I felt no thrill, only the pain; but when 
my sex became all wet and open and yours could slip 
in and out easily, I began to feel real pleasure. 1 
liked the slow movement best; it excited me to feel 
the head of your sex just touching the lips of mine 
and when you pushed in slowly all the way, it gave 
me a gasp of breathless delight; when you drew your 
sex out, I wanted to hold it in me. And the longer 
you kept on, the more pleasure you gave me. For 
hours afterwards my sex was sensitive; if I rubbed 
it ever so gently, it would begin to itch and burn. 

"But that night in the hotel at Kansas City I 
really wanted you and the pleasure you gave me then 
was much keener than the first time. You kissed and 
caressed me for a few minutes and I soon felt my 
love-dew coming and the button of my sex began to 
throb. As you thrust your shaft in and out of me, I 
felt such a strange sort of pleasure: every little nerve 
on the inside of my thighs and belly seemed to thrill 
and quiver: it was almost a feeling of pain. At first 
the sensation was not so intense, but when you stop- 
ped and made me wash, I was shaken by quick, short 
spasms in my thighs and my sex was burning and 
throbbing; I wanted you more than ever. 

is 



256 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"When you began the slow movement again, I felt 
the same sensations in my thighs and belly, only 
more keenly, and as you kept on, the pleasure became 
so intense that I could scarcely bear it. Suddenly 
you rubbed your sex against mine and my button 
began to throb: I could almost feel it move. Then 
you began to move your sex quickly in and out of me; 
in a moment I was breathless with emotion and I felt 
so faint and exhausted that I suppose I fell asleep for 
a few minutes, for I knew nothing more till I felt the 
cold water trickling down my face. When you began 
again, you made me cry; perhaps because I was all 
dissolved in feeling and too, too happy. Ail, love is 
divine: isn't itl" 

Kate was really of the highest woman-type, 
mother and mistress in one. She used to come down 
and spend the night with me oftener than ever and 
on one of these occasions she found a new word for 
her passion: she declared she felt her womb move in 
yearning for me when I talked my best or recited 
poetry to her in what I had christened her Holy 
Week. Kate, it was, who taught me first that women 
could be even more moved and excited by words than 
by deeds: once, I remember, when I had talked senti- 
mentally, she embraced me of her own accord and 
we had each other with wet eyes. 

Another effect of Smith's absence was important; 
for it threw me a good deal with Miss Stevens. I 
soon found that she had inherited the best of her 
father's brains and much of his strength of character. 
If she had married Smith, she might have done some- 
thing noteworthy: as it was, she was very attractive 
and well-read as a girl and would have made Smith, 
I am sure, a most excellent wife. 

Once and once only I tried to hint to her that her 
sweetness to Smith might do him harm physically; 



HAED TIMES AND NEW LOVES. 257 

but the suspicion of reproof made her angry and she 
evidently couldn't or wouldn't understand what I 
meant without a physical explanation, which she 
would certainly have resented. I had to leave her to 
what she would have called her daimon; for she 
was as prettily pedantic as Tennyson's Princess, or 
any other mid- Victorian heroine. 

Her brother Ned, too, I came to know pretty well. 
He was a tall, handsome youth with fine grey eyes: 
a good athlete, but of commonplace mind. 

The father was the most interesting of the whole 
family, were it only for his prodigious conceit. He 
was of noble appearance: a large, handsome head 
with silver grey hairs setting off a portly figure well 
above middle height. In spite of his assumption of 
superiority, I felt him hide-bound in thought; for he 
accepted all the familiar American conventions, be- 
lieving or rather knowing that the American people, 
""the good old New England stock in particular, were 
the salt of the earth, the best breed to be seen any- , 
where . . ." 

It showed his brains that he tried to find a reason 
for this belief. "English oak is good", he remarked 
one day sententiously, "but American hickory is 
tougher still. Reasonable, too, this belief of mine", 
he added, "for the last glacial period skinned all the 
good soil off of New England and made it bitterly 
hard to get a living and the English who came out 
for conscience sake were the pick of the Old Country 
and they were forced for generations to scratch a 
living out of the poorest kind of soil with the worst 
<climate in the world, and hostile Indians all round 
to sharpen their combativeness and weed out the 
weaklings and wastrels." 

There was a certain amount of truth in his con- 
tention; but this was the nearest to an original 

15* 



258 



MY LIFE AND LOVES. 



thought I ever heard him express and his intense 
patriotic fervor moved me to doubt his intelligence. 

I was delighted to find that Smith rated him just 
as I did: "a first-rate lawyer, I belie ve", was his 
judgment, "a sensible, kindly man". 

"A little above middle height", I interpreted and 
Smith add^d smiling, "and considerably above aver- 
age weight: he would never have done anything no- 
table in literature or thought." 

As the year wore on, Smith's letters called for me 
more and more insistently and at length I went to 
join him in Philadelphia. 




NEW EXPERIENCES. 

Emerson, Walt Whitman, Bret Harte. 

Chapter XIII. 

^mith met me at the station: he was thinner than 
^-^ ever and the wretched little cough shook him very 
often in spite of some lozenges that the doctor had 
given him to suck: I began to be alarmed about him 
and I soon came to the belief that the damp climate 
of the Quaker City was worse for him than the thin, 
dry Kansas air. But he believed in his doctors! 

He boarded with a pleasant Puritan family in 
whose house he had also got me a room and at once 
we resumed the old life. But now I kept constant 
watch on him and insisted on rigorous self restraint, 
tying up his unruly organ every night carefully with 
thread, which was still more efficient (and painful) 
than the whipcord. I also put a lump of ice near 
bis bed so that he could end at once any thrill of sex. 
But now he didn't improve quickly: it was a month 
before I could find any of the old vigor in him; but 
soon afterwards the cough diminished and he began 
to be his bright self again. 

One of our first evenings I described to him the 
Bradlaugh lecture in much the same terms I have 
used in this narrative. Smith said: "Why don't you 
write it-1 You ought to: the "Press" would take it» 



260 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

You've given me an extraordinary, life-like portrait 
of a great man, blind, so to speak, in one eye, a sort 
of Cyclops. If he had been a Communist, how much 
greater he'd have been." 

I ventured to disagree and we were soon at it* 
hammer and tongs. I wanted to see both principles 
realised in life, individualism and Socialism, the cen- 
trifugal as well as the centripetal force and was con- 
vinced that the problem was how to bring these oppo- 
sites to a balance which would ensure an approx- 
imation to justice and make for the happiness of all. 

Smith on the other hand argued at first as an 
out-and-out Communist and follower of Marx; but 
he was too fair-minded to shut his eyes for long to 
the obvious. Soon he began congratulating me on my 
insight, declaring I had written a new chapter in 
economics. 

His conversion made me feel that I was at long 
last his equal as a thinker, in any field where his 
scholarship didn't give him too great an advantage: 
I was no longer a pupil but an equal and his quick 
recognition of the fact increased, I believe, our mut- 
ual affection. Though infinitely better read he put 
me forward in every company with the rarest gener- 
osity, asserting that I had discovered new laws in 
sociology. For months we lived very happily together 
but his Hegelianism defied all my attacks: it corre- 
sponded too intimately with the profound idealism of 
his own character. 

As soon as I had written out the Bradlaugh story, 
Smith took me down to the "Press" office and intro- 
duced me to the chief editor, a Captain Forney: in- 
deed the paper then was usually called "Forney's 
Press" though already some spoke of it as "The Phil- 
adelphia Press". Forney liked my portrait of Brad- 
laugh and engaged me as a reporter on the staff and 



NEW EXPERIENCES. 261 

occasional descriptive writer at fifty dollars a week, 
which enabled me to save all the money coming to 
me from Lawrence. 

One day Smith talked to me of Emerson and con- 
fessed he had got an introduction to him and had sent 
it on to the philosopher with a request for an inter- 
view. He wished me to accompany him to Concord: 
I consented, but without any enthusiasm: Emerson 
was then an unknown name to me; Smith read me 
some of his poetry and praised it highly though I 
could get little or nothing out of it. When young 
men now show me a similar indifference, my own 
experience makes it easy for me to excuse them. 
They know not what they do! is the explanation and 
excuse for all of us. 

One bright fall day Smith and I went over to 
Concord and next day visited Emerson. He received 
us in the most pleasant, courteous way: made us sit 
and composed himself to listen. Smith went off at 
score, telling him how greatly he had influenced his 
life and helped him with brave encouragement: the 
old man smiled benignantly and nodded his head, 
ejaculating from time to time: "Yes, yes!" Gradually 
Smith warmed to his work and wanted to know why 
Emerson had never expressed his views on sociology 
or on the relations between Capital and Labor. Once 
or twice the old gentleman cupped his ear with his 
hand; but all he said was: "Yes, Yes! or I think so" 
with the same benevolent smile. 

I guessed at once that he was deaf; but Smith 
had no inkling of the fact for he went on probing, 
probing while Emerson auswered pleasant nothings 
quite irrelevantly. I studied the great man as closely 
as I could. He looked about five feet nine or ten in 
height, very thin, attenuated even, and very scru- 
pulously dressed: his head was narrow though long, 



262 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

his face bony; a long, high, somewhat beaked nose 
was the feature of his countenance: — a good conceit 
of himself, I concluded, and 1 considerable will-power, 
for the chin was well-defined and large; but I got 
nothing more than this and from his clear steadfast 
gray eyes, an intense impression of kindness and good 
will, and why shouldn't I say M of sweetness even, as 
of a soul lifted high above earth's carking cares and 
strugglings. 

"A nice old fellow", I said to myself, "but deaf 
as a post." 

Many years later his deafness became to me the 
symbol and explanation of his genius. He had always 
lived "the life removed" and kept himself unspotted 
from the world: that explains both his narrowness of 
sympathy and the height to which he grew! His 
harrow, pleasantly smiling face comes back to me 
whenever I hear his name mentioned. 

But at the time I was indignant with his deaf- 
ness and out of temper with Smith because he didn't 
notice it and seemed somehow to make himself cheap. 
When we went away, I cried: "The old fool is as deaf 
as a post!" "Ah, that was the explanation then of 
his stereotyped smile and peculiar answers", cried 
Smith, "how did you divine it?" 

'He put his hand to his ear more than once,", I 
replied. 

"So he did", Smith exclaimed, "how foolish of 
me not to have drawn the obvious inference!" 
It was in this fall, I believe, that the Gregorys went 
off to Colorado. I felt the loss of Kate a good deal 
at first; but she had made no deep impression on 
my mind and the new life in Philadelphia and my 
journalistic work left me but little time for regrets 
and as she never wrote to me, following doubtless her 
mother's advice, she soon drifted out of my memory. 



NEW EXPERIENCES. 263 

Moreover, Lily was quite as interesting a lover and 
Lily too had begun to pall on me. The truth is, 
the fever of desire in youth is a passing malady that 
intimacy quickly cures. Besides, I was already in 
pursuit of a girl in Philadelphia who kept me a long- 
time at arm's length, and when she yielded I found 
her figure commonplace and her sex so large and loose 
that she deserves no place in this chronicle. She was 
modest, if you please, and no wonder. I have always 
since thought that modesty is the proper fig-leaf of 
ugliness. 

In the spring of this year 1875, I had to return to 
Lawrence on business connected with my hoardings. 
In several cases the owners of the lots refused to 
allow me to keep up the hoardings unless they had 
a reasonable share in the profits. Finally I called them 
all together and came to an amicable agreement to 
divide twenty five percent of my profit among them, 
year by year. 

I had also to go through my examination and get 
admitted to the Bar. I had already taken out my 
first naturalization papers and Judge Bassett of the 
District Court appointed the lawyers Barker and Hut- 
chin gs to examine me. The examination was a mere 
form: they each asked me three simple questions: I 
answered them and we adjourned to the Eldridge 
House for supper and they drank my health in cham- 
pagne. I was notified by Judge Bassett that I had 
passed the examination and told to present myself 
for admission on the 15th of June, I think, 1875. 

To my surprise the court was half full. Judge 
Stevens even was present, whom I had never seen in 
court before. About eleven the Judge informed the 
audience that I had passed a satisfactory examina- 
tion, had taken out my first papers in due form and 
unless some lawyer wished first to put questions to 



284 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

me to test my capacity, he proposed to call me with- 
in the Bar. To my astonishment Judge Stevens rose: 

"With the permission of the Court", he said, 
"I'd like to put some questions to this candidate who 
comes to us with high University commendation." 
(No one had heard of my expulsion though he knew 
of it.) He then began a series of questions which 
soon plumbed the depths of my abyssmal ignorance. 
I didn't know what an action of account was at old 
English common law: I don't know now, nor do I 
want to. I had read Blackstone carefully and a book 
on Koman law; Chitty on Evidence, too, and someone 
on Contracts — half a dozen books and that was all. 
For the first two hours Judge Stevens just exposed 
my ignorances: it was a very warm morning and my 
conceit was rubbed raw when Judge Bassett proposed 
an adjournment for dinner. Stevens consented and 
we all rose. To my surprise Barker and Hutchings 
and half a dozen other lawyers came round to encour- 
age me: "Stevens is just showing off", said Hut- 
chings, "I myself couldn't have answered half his 
questions!" Even Judge Bassett sent for me to his 
room and practically told me I had nothing to fear, 
so I returned at two o'clock, resolved to do my best 
and at all costs to keep smiling. 

The examination continued in a crowded court 
till four o'clock and then Judge Stevens sat down, 
I had done better in this session; but my examiner 
had caught me in a trap on a moot point in the law 
of evidence and I could have kicked myself. But 
Hutchings rose as the senior of .my two examiners 
who had been appointed by the Court, and said simply 
that now he repeated the opinion he had already had 
the honor to convey to Judge Bassett, that I was a 
fit and proper person to practice law in the State of 
Kansas. 



NEW EXPERIENCES. 265 



"Judge Sevens", he added, "has shown us how 
widely read he is in English common law; but some 
of us knew that before and in any case his erudition 
should not be made a purgatory to candidates: it 
looks", he went on, "as if he wished to punish Mr. 
Harris for his superiority to all his classmates in the 
University. 

"Impartial persons in this audience will admit", he 
concluded, "that Mr. Harris has come brilliantly out 
of an exceedingly severe test and I have the pleasant 
task of proposing, your Honor, that he now be admit- 
ted within the Bar, though he may not be able to 
practice till he becomes a full citizen two years hence," 

Everyone expected that Barker would second 
this proposal ; but while he was rising, Judge Stevens 
began to speak. 

"I desire", he said, "to second that proposal; and 
I think I ought to explain why I subjected Mr. Harris 
to a severe examination in open court. Since I came 
to Kansas from the State of New York twenty-five 
years ago, I have been asked a score of times to exam- 
ine one candidate or another. I always refused: I 
did not wish to punish Western candidates by putting 
them against our Eastern standards. But here at 
long last appears a candidate who has won honor in 
the University to whom, therefore, a stiff examination 
in open court can only be a vindication, and accord- 
ingly I examined Mr. Harris as if he had been in the 
State of New York; for surely Kansas too has come 
of age and its inhabitants cannot wish to be humored 
as inferiors. 

"This whole affair", he went on, "reminds me of 
a story told in the east of a dog-fancier. The father 
lived by breeding and training bull-dogs. One day 
he got an extraordinarily promising pup and the 
father and son used to hunker down, shake their arms 



266 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

at the pup and thus encourage him to seize hold of 
their coatsleeves and hang on. While engaged in this 
game once, the bull-pup, grown bold by constant 
praise, sprang up and seized the father by the nose. 
Instinctively the old man began to choke him off but 
the son exclaimed: 

"'Don't, father, don't, for God's sake! it may be 
hard on you, but it'll be the making of the pup'. So 
my examination, I thought, might be hard on Mr. 
Harris; but it would be the making of him." 

The Court roared and I applauded merrily. Judge 
Stevens continued: "I desire, however, to show my 
self not an enemy but a friend of Mr. Harris whom 
I have known for some years. Mr. Hutchings evi- 
dently thinks that Mr. Harris must wait two years in 
order to become a citizen of the United States. I am 
glad from my reading of the Statute laws of my 
country to be able to assure him that Mr. Harris need 
not wait a day. The law says that if a minor has 
lived three years in any state, he may on coming of 
age choose to become a citizen of the United States, 
and if Mr. Harris chooses to be one of us, he can be 
admitted at once as a citizen and if your Honor ap- 
prove, be allowed also to practice law tomorrow." 

He sat down amid great applause, in which I 
joined most heartily. So on that day I was admitted 
to practice law as a full-fledged citizen. Unluckily 
for me, when I asked the Clerk of the Court for my 
full papers, he gave me the certificate of my admission 
to practice law in Lawrence, saying that as this could 
only be given to a citizen, it in itself was sufficient. 

Forty odd years later the government of 
Woodrow Wilson refused to accept this plain proof 
of my citizenship and thus put me to much trouble 
by forcing me to get naturalized again! 

But at the moment in Lawrence I was all cock-a 



NEW EXPERIENCES. 267 

hoop and forthwith took a 'room on the same first 
floor where Barker & Sommerfeld had their offices, 
and put out my shingle. 

I have told this story of my examination at great 
length because I think it shows as in a glass the 
amenities and deep kindness of the American cha- 
racter. 

A couple of days later I was again in Phila- 
delphia. 

Towards the end of this year 1875, I believe, or 
the beginning of 1876, Smith drew my attention to an 
announcement that Walt Whitman, the poet, was 
going to speak in Philadelphia on Thomas Paine, the 
notorious infidel, who according to Washington had 
done more to secure the independence of the United 
States than any other man. Smith determined to go 
to the meeting and if Whitman could rehabilitate 
Paine against the venomous attacks of Christian 
clergymen who had asserted without contradiction 
that Paine was a notorious drunkard and of the 
loosest character, he would induce Forney to let him 
write an exhaustive and forceful defence of Paine 
in "The Press". 

I felt pretty sure that such an article would 
never appear but I would not pour cold water on 
Smith's enthusiasm. The day came, one of those 
villainous days common enough in Philadelphia in 
every winter: the temperature was about zero with 
snow falling whenever the driving wind permitted. 
In the afternoon Smith finally determined that he 
must not risk it and asked me to go in his stead. I 
consented willingly and he spent some hours in read- 
ing to me the best of Whitman's poetry, laying 
especial stress, I remember, on "When lilacs last in 
the dooryard bloomed". He assured me again and 
again that Whitman and Poe were the two greatest 



268 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

poets these States had ever produced and he hoped 
I would be very nice to the great man. 

Nothing could be more depressing than the aspect 
of the Hall that night: ill-lit and half -heated, with 
perhaps thirty persons scattered about in a space 
that would have accommodated a thousand. Such 
was the reception America accorded to one of its 
greatest spirits, though that view of the matter did 
not strike me for many a year. 

I took my seat in the middle of the first row, 
pulled out my notebook and made ready. In a few 
minutes Whitman came on the platform from the left: 
he walked slowly, stiffly, which made me grin for I 
did not then know that he had had a stroke of para- 
lysis and I thought his peculiar walk, a mere pose. 
Besides, his clothes were astonishingly ill-fitting and 
ill-suited to his figure. He must have been nearly 
six feet in height and strongly made, yet he wore a 
short jacket which cocked up behind in the perkiest 
way. Looked at from the front, his white collar was 
wide open and discovered a tuft of grey hairs, while 
his trousers that corkscrewed about his legs had 
parted company with his vest and disclosed a margin 
of dingy white shirt. His appearance filled me — 
poor little English snob that I was — with contempt: 
he recalled to my memory irresistibly an old Cochin- 
China rooster I had seen when a boy; it stalked across 
the farm-yard with the same slow, stiff gait and car- 
ried a stubby tail cocked up behind. 

Yet a second look showed me Whitman as a fine 
figure of a man with something arresting in the per- 
fect simplicity and sincerity of voice and manner. 
He arranged his notes in complete silence and began 
to speak very slowly, often pausing for a better word 
or to consult his papers, sometimes hesitating and 
repeating himself — clearly an unpracticed speaker 



NEW EXPERIENCES. 269 

who disdained any semblance of oratory. He told us 
simply that in his youth he had met and got to know 
very well a certain Colonel in the army who had 
known Thomas Paine intimately. This Colonel had 
assured him more than once that all the accusations 
against Paine's habits and character were false — a 
mere outcome of Christian bigotry. Paine would 
drink a glass or two of wine at dinner like all well- 
bred men of that day; but he was very moderate and 
in the last ten years of his life the Colonel asserted 
that Paine never once drank to excess. The Colonel 
cleared Paine, too, of looseness of morals in much the 
same decisive way and finally spoke of him as in- 
variably well-conducted, of witty speech and a vast 
fund of information, a most interesting and agreeable 
companion. And the Colonel was an unimpeachable 
witness. Whitman assured us, a man of the highest 
honor and most scrupulous veracity. 

Whitman spoke with such uncommon slowness 
that I was easily able to take down the chief sentences 
in longhand: he was manifestly determined to say 
just what he had to say, neither more nor less — 
which made an impression of singular sincerity and 
truthfulness. 

When he had finished, I went up on the platform 
to see him near at hand ; and draw him out if possible. 
I showed him my card of the "Press" and asked him 
if he would kindly sign and thus authenticate the 
sentences on Paine he had used in his address. 

"Aye, aye!" was all he said; but he read the half 
dozen sentences carefully, here and there correcting 
a word. 

I thanked him and said Professor Smith, an 
Editor of the "Press", had sent me to get a word-for- 
word report of his speech for he purposed writing 



270 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

an article in the "Press" on Paine, whom he greatly 
admired. 

"Aye, aye!" ejaculated Whitman from time to 
time while his clear grey eyes absorbed all that 1 
said. I went on to assure him that Smith had a 
profound! admiration for him (Whitman), thought 
him the greatest American poet and regretted deeply 
that he was not well enough to come out that night 
and make his personal acquaintance. 

"I'm sorry, too", said Whitman slowly, "for your 
friend Smith must have something large in him to 
be so interested in Paine and in me." Perfectly simple 
and honest Walt Whitman appeared to me, even in 
his self -estimate — an authentic great man! 

I had nothing more to say, so hastened home to 
show Smith Whitman's boyish signature and to give 
him a description of the man. The impression Whit- 
man left on me was one of transparent simplicity and 
sincerity: not a mannerism in him, not a trace of 
affectation, a man simply sure of himself, most careful 
in speech; but careless of appearances and curiously, 
significantly free of all afterthoughts or regrets: a 
new type of personality which, strangely enough, has 
grown upon me more and more with the passing of 
the years and now seems to me to represent the very 
best in America, the large unruffled soul of that great 
people manifestly called and chosen to exert an in- 
creasingly important influence on the destinies of 
mankind. I would die happy if I could believe that 
America's influence would be anything like as manful 
and true and clear-eyed as Whitman's in guiding 
humanity; but alas! — 

It would be difficult to convey to European 
readers any just notion of the horror and disgust with 
which Walt Whitman was regarded at that time in 
the United States on account merely of the sex-poems 



NEW EXPERIENCES. 271 

in "Leaves of Grass". The poems to which objection 
could be taken, don't constitute five per cent of the 
book and my objection to them is that in any normal 
man, love and desire take up a much larger proportion 
of life than five per cent. Moreover the expression 
of passion is tame in the extreme: nothing in the 
"Leaves of Grass" can compare with half a dozen 
passages in the Song of Solomon: think of the 
following verse: 

"I sleep but my heart waketh: it is the voice of 
my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my 
sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my 
head is filled with dew and my locks with the drops 

of the night 

"My beloved put his hand in by the hole of 
the door and my bowels were moved for him." 
And then the phrases: "her lips are like a thread 

of scarlet" "her love like an army with banners" ; 

but American puritanism is more timid even than 
its purblind teachers. 

It was commonly said at the time that Whitman 
had led a life of extraordinary self-indulgence: rumor 
attributed to him half a dozen illegitimate children 
and perverse tastes to boot. I think such statements 
exaggerated or worse: they are no more to be trusted 
than the stories of Paine's drunkenness. At any rate, 
Horace Traubel later declared to me that Whitman's 
life was singularly clean and his own letter to John 
Addington Symonds must be held to have disproved 
the charge of homo-sexuality. But I dare swear he 
loved more than once not wisely but too well, or he 
would not have risked the reprobation of the "unco 
guid". In any case, it is to his honor that he dared 
to write plainly in America of the joys of sexual in- 
tercourse. Emerson, as Whitman himself tells us, did 
his utmost all one long afternoon to dissuade him from 

19 



272 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

publishing the sex-poems; but fortunately all his ar- 
guments served only to confirm Whitman in his pur- 
pose. From certain querulous complaints later, it is 
plain that Whitman was too ignorant to guage the 
atrocious results to himself and his reputation of his 
daring; but the same ignorance that allowed him to 
use scores of vile neologisms, in this one instance 
stood him in good stead. It was right of him to speak 
plainly of sex; accordingly he set down the main facts, 
disdainful of the best opinion of his time. And he 
was justified; in the long run, it will be plain to all 
that he thus put the seal of the Highest upon his 
judgment. What can we think and what will the 
future think of Emerson's condemnation of Rabelais 
whom he dared to liken to a dirty little boy who 
scribbles indecencies in public places and then runs 
away and his contemptuous estimate of Shakespeare 
as a ribald playwright, when in good sooth he was 
"the reconciler" whom Emerson wanted to acclaim 
and had not the brains to recognize. 

Whitman was the first of great men to write 
frankly about sex and five hundred years hence, that 
will be his singular and supreme distinction. 

Smith seemed permanently better though, of 
course, for the moment disappointed because his care- 
ful eulogy of Paine never appeared in the "Press", so 
one day I told him I'd have to return to Lawrence to 
go on with my law work, though Thompson, the 
doctor's son, kept all my personal affairs in good order 
and informed me of every happening. Smith at this 
time seemed to agree with me, though not 
enthusiastically, and I was on the point of starting 
when I got a letter from Willie, telling me that my 
eldest brother Vernon was in a New York hospital, 
having just tried to commit suicide and I should go 
to see him. 



NEW EXPERIENCES. 273 

I went at once and found Vernon in a ward in 
bed: the surgeon told me that he had tried to shoot 
himself and that the ball had struck the jaw-bone at 
such an angle that it went all round his head and was 
taken out just above his left ear: "it stunned him and 
that was all; he can go out almost any day now". The 
first glance showed me the old Vernon: he cried: 

"Still a failure, you see, Joe: could not even kill 
myself though I tried!" I told him I had renamed 
myself, Frank; he nodded amicably smiling. 

I cheered him up as well as I could, got lodgings 
for him, took him out of hospital, found work for him 
too and after a fortnight saw that I could safely 
leave him. He told me that he regretted having taken 
so much money from my father, "your share, I'm 
afraid, and Nita's; but why did he give it me? He 
might just as well have refused me years ago as let 
me strip him; but I was a fool and always shall be 
about money: happy go lucky, I can take no thought 
for the morrow". 

That fortnight showed me that Vernon had only 
the veneer of a gentleman; at heart he was as selfish 
as Willie but without Willie's power of work. I had 
over-estimated him wildly as a boy, thought him 
noble and well-read; but Smith's real nobility, culture 
and idealism showed me that Vernon was hardly 
silver-gilt. He had nice manners and good temper 
and that was about all. 

I stopped at Philadelphia on my way to Law- 
rence just to tell Smith all I owed him, which the 
association with Vernon had made clear to me. We 
had a great night and then for the first time he ad- 
vised me to go to Europe to study and make myself 
a teacher and guide of men. I assured him he 
overestimated me, because I had an excellent verbal 
memory; but he declared that I had unmistakeable 



274 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

originality and singular fairness of judgment, and 
above all, a driving power of will that he had never 
seen equalled: "Whatever you make up your mind 
to do", he concluded, "you will assuredly accomplish, 
for you are inclined to underrate yourself". At the 
time I laughed, saying he didn't even guess at my 
unlimited conceit, but his words and counsel sank 
into my mind and in due course exercised a decisive, 
shaping influence on my life. 

I returned to Lawrence, put up a sofa-bed in my 
law-room and went to the Eldridge House nearby for 
my meals. I read law assiduously and soon had a 
few clients, "hard cases" for the most part, sent to me, 
I found out, by Judge Stevens and Barker, eager to 
foist nuisances on a beginner. 

An old mulatto woman kept our offices tidy and 
clean for a few dollars monthly from each of us, and 
one night I was awakened by her groans and cries: 
she lived in a garret up two flights of stairs and was 
evidently suffering from indigestion and very much 
frightened, as colored folk are apt to be when any- 
thing ails them: "I'm gwine to die!" she told me a 
dozen times. I treated her with whisky and warm 
water, heated on my little gas-heater and sat with 
her till at length she fell asleep. She declared 
next day I had saved her life and she'd never forget 
it "Nebber, fo sure!" I laughed at her and forgot 
all about it. 

Every afternoon I went over to Liberty Hall for 
an hour or so to keep in touch with events, though I 
left the main work to Will Thompson. One day I 
was delighted to find that Bret Harte was coming to 
lecture for us: his subject "The Argonauts of '49": 
I got some of his books from the bookstore kept by 
a lame man named Crew, I think, on Massachusetts 
Street, and read him carefully. His poetry did not 



NEW EXPERIENCES. 275 

make much impression on me, mere verse, I thought 
it; but "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" and other stories 
seemed to me almost masterpieces in spite of their 
romantic coloring and tinge of melodrama. Espec- 
ially the description of Oakhurst, the gambler, stuck 
in my mind : it will be remembered that when crossing 
the "divide", Oakhurst advised the party of outcasts 
to keep on travelling till they reached a place of safe- 
ty. But he did not press his point: he decided it 
was hopeless and then came Bret Harte's extra- 
ordinary painting phrase: "life to Oakhurst was at 
best an uncertain sort of game and he recognized the 
usual percentage in favor of the dealer". There is 
more humor and insight in the one sentence than in 
all the ridiculously overpraised works of Mark Twain. 

One afternoon I was alone in the box-office of 
Liberty Hall when Rose came in, as pretty as ever. 
I was delighted to renew our acquaintance and more 
delighted still to find that she would like tickets for 
Bret Harte's lecture. "I didn't know that you cared 
for reading, Rose?" I said, a little surprised. 

"Professor Smith and you would make anybody 
read," she cried, "at any rate you started me". I 
gave her the tickets and engaged to take her for a 
buggy-ride next day. I felt sure Rose liked me; but 
she soon surprised me by showing a stronger virtue 
than I usually encountered. 

She kissed me when I asked her in the buggy but 
told me at the same time that she didn't care much 
for kissing: "all men", she said, "are after a girl for 
the same thing; it's sickening; they all want kisses 
and try to touch you and say they love you; but they 
can't love and I don't want their kisses". 

"Rose, Rose," I said, "you mustn't be too hard 
on us: we're different from you girls and that's all". 

"How do you mean?" she asked. "I mean that 



276 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

mere desire", I said, "just the wish to kiss and enjoy 
you, strikes the man first; but behind that lust is 
often a good deal of affection, and sometimes a deep 
and sacred tenderness comes to flower; whereas the 
girl begins with the liking and affection and learns 
to enjoy the kissing and caressing afterwards". 

"I see", she rejoined quietly, "I think I under- 
stand : I'm glad to believe that". 

Her unexpected depth and sincerity impressed 
me and I continued: 

"We men may be so hungry that we will eat very 
poor fruit greedily because it's at hand; but that 
doesn't prove that we don't prefer good and sweet and 
nourishing food when we can get it". She let her 
eyes dwell on mine: "I see", she said, "I see!" 

And then I went on tell her how lovely she was 
and how she had made a deathless impression on me 
and I ventured to hope she liked me a little and would 
yet be good to me and come to care for me, and I was 
infinitely pleased to find that this was the right sort 
of talk and I did my best in the new strain. Three 
or four times a week I took her out in a buggy and 
in a little while I had taught her how to kiss and won 
her to confess that she cared for me, loved me indeed 
and bit by bit she allowed me the little familiarities 
of love. 

One day I took her out early for a picnic and said, 
"I'll play Turk and you must treat me" and I stretched 
myself out on a rug under a tree. She entered into the 
spirit of the game with zest, brought me food and 
at length, as she stood close beside me, I couldn't 
control myself; I put my hand up her dress on her 
firm legs and sex. Next moment I was kneeling 
beside her: "Love me, Rose", I begged, "I want you 
so: I'm hungry for you, dear!" 

She looked at me gravely with wide-open eyes: 



NEW EXPERIENCES. 277 

"I love you too' 1 , she said, "but oh! T'm afraid: be 
patient with me!" she added like a little girl. I was 
patient but persistent and I went on caressing her 
till her hot lips told me that I had really excited her. 

My fingers informed me that she had a perfect sex 
and her legs were wonderfully firm and tempting, 
and in her yielding there was the thrill of a conscious 
yielding out of affection for me, which I find it hard 
to express. I soon persuaded her to come next day 
to my office. She came about four o'clock and I kissed 
and caressed her and at length in the dusk got her 
to strip. She had the best figure I had ever seen 
and that made me like her more than I would have 
believed possible; but I soon found when I got into 
her that she was not nearly as passionate as Kate 
even, to say nothing of Lily. She was a cool mistress 
but would have made a wonderful wife, being all 
self-sacrifice and tender, thoughtful affection: T have 
still a very warm corner in my heart for that lovely 
child-woman and am rather ashamed of having se- 
duced her, for she was never meant to be a plaything 
or pastime. 

But incurably changeable, I had Lily a day or 
two afterwards and sent Rose a collection of books 
instead of calling on her. Still I took her out every 
week till I left Lawrence and grew to esteem her 
more and more. 

Lily, on the other hand, was a born "daughter 
of the game" to use Shakespeare's phrase and tried 
to become more and more proficient at it: she wanted 
to know when and how she gave me most pleasure 
and really did her best to excite me. Besides, she 
soon developed a taste in hats and dresses and when 
I paid for a new outfit, she would dance with delight. 
She was an entertaining, light companion too and 
often found odd little naughty phrases that amused 



278 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

me. Her pet aversion was Mrs. Mayhew: she called 
her always "the Pirate", because she said Lorna only 
liked "stolen goods" and wanted every man "to walk 
the plank into her bedroom". Lily insisted that Lorna 
could cry whenever she wished; but had no real 
affection in her and her husband filled Lily with con- 
tempt: "a well-matched pair", she exclaimed one day, 
"a mare and a mule, and the mare, as men say, in 
heat — all wet", and she wrinkled her little nose in 
disgust. 

At the Bret Harte lecture both Rose and Lily had 
seats and they both understood that I would go and 
talk with the great man afterwards. 

I expected to get a great deal from the lecture 
and Harte's advance agent had arranged that the 
hero of the evening should receive me in the Eldridge 
House after the address. 

I was to call for him at the Hotel and take him 
across to the Hall. When I called, a middle-sized 
man came to meet me with a rather good-looking, 
pleasant smile and introspective, musing eyes. Harte 
was in evening dress that suited his slight figure and 
as he seemed disinclined to talk, I took him across 
to the Hall at once and hastened round to the front 
to note his entrance. He walked quite simply to the 
desk, arranged his notes methodically and began in 
a plain, conversational tone, "The Argonauts" and 
he repeated it, "The Argonauts of '49". 

I noticed that there was no American nasal twang- 
in his accent; but with the best of will, I can give no 
account of the lecture, just as I can give no portrait of 
the man. I reeall only one phrase but think it prob- 
ably the best: referring to the old-timers crossing the 
Great Plains, he said, "I am going to tell you of a new 
Crusade, a Crusade without a cross, an exodus without 
a prophet!" 



NEW EXPERIENCES. 279 

I met him ten years later in London when I had 
more self-confidence and much deeper understanding 
both of talent and genius; but I could never get any- 
thing of value out of Bret Harte, in spite of the fact 
that I had then and still keep a good deal of admir- 
ation for his undoubted talent. In London later I 
did my best to draw him out, to get him to say what 
he thought of life, death and the undiscovered 
country; but he either murmured commonplaces or 
withdrew into his shell of complete but apparently 
thoughtful silence. 

The monotonous work and passionate interludes 
of my life were suddenly arrested by a totally unex- 
pected happening. One day Barker came into my 
little office and stood there hiccoughing from time 
to time: "did I know any remedy for hiccoughs'?" 
I only knew a drink of cold water usually stopped it. 

"I've drunk every sort of thing," he said, "but 
I reckon I'll give it best and go home and if it con- 
tinues, send for the doctor!" I could only acquiesce: 
next day I heard he was worse and in bed. A week 
later Sommerfeld told him I ought to call on poor 
Barker for he was seriously ill. 

That' same afternoon I called and was horrified 
at the change: the constant hiccoughing had shaken 
all the unwieldy mass of flesh from his bones; the 
skin of his face was flaccid, the bony outline showing 
under the thin folds. I pretended to think he was 
better and attempted to congratulate him; but he 
did not try even to deceive himself. "If they can't 
stop it, it'll stop me", he said, "but no one ever heard 
of a man dying of hiccoughs and I'm not forty yet". 

The news came a few days later that he was dead 
— that great fat man! 

His death changed my whole life, though I didn't 
dream at the time it could have any effect upon me. 



280 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

One day I was in court arguing a case before Judge 
Bassett. Though I liked the man, he exasperated me 
that day by taking what I thought was a wrong view. 
I put my point in every light I could; but he wouldn't 
come round and finally gave the case against me. 
When I had collected my papers and looked up, he 
was smiling: 

'I shall take this case to the Supreme Court at my 
own expense", I explained bitterly, "and have your 
decision reversed." 

"If you want to waste your time and money," he 
remarked pleasantly, "I can't hinder you". 

I went out of the court and suddenly found 
Sommerfeld beside me: 

"You fought that case very well", he said, "and 
you'll win it in the Supreme Court, but you shouldn't 
have told Bassett so, in his own — " "domain", I 
suggested, and he nodded. 

When we got to our floor and I turned towards 
my office, he said, "Won't you come in and smoke 
a cigar, I'd like a talk — " 

Sommerfeld's cigars were uniformly excellent and 
I followed him very willingly into his big, quiet 
office at the back that looked over some empty lots. 
I was not a bit curious; for a talk with Sommerfeld 
usually meant a rather silent smoke. This time, 
however, he had something to say and said it very 
abruptly : 

"Barker's gone," he remarked in the air, and then : 
"Why shouldn't you come in here and take his place?'' 

4 As your partner?" I exclaimed. "Sure", he re- 
plied, "I'll make out the briefs in the cases as I did 
for Barker and you'll argue them in court. For in- 
stance", he added in his slow way, "there is a decision 
of the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio that decides 
your case today almost in your words, and if you 



NEW EXPERIENCES. 281 

had cited it, you'd have convinced Bassett", and he 
turned and read out the report. 

"The State of Ohio," he went on, "is one of the 
four States, as you know, (I didn't know it) that have 
adopted the New York Code — New York, Ohio, Kan- 
sas and California" — he proceeded, "the four States 
in a line across the continent; no one of these high 
courts will contradict the other. So you can be sure 
of your verdict — well, what do you say?" he con- 
cluded. 

"I shall be delighted," I replied at once, "indeed 
1 am proud to work with you: T could have wished no 
better fortune". 

He held out his hand silently and the thing was 
settled. 

Sommerfeld smoked a while in silence and then 
remarked casually, "I used to give Barker a hundred 
dollars a week for his household expenses: will that 
suit you?" 

"Perfectly, perfectly", I cried, "I only hope I shall 
earn it and justify your good opinion — " 

"You are a better advocate than Barker even 
now," he said, "but you have one — drawback" — 
he hesitated. 

"Please go on," I cried, "don't be afraid, I can 
stand any criticism and profit by it — I hope". 

"Your accent is a little English, isn't it?" he said, 
"and that prejudices both judge and jury against 
you, especially the jury: if you had Barker's accent, 
you'd be the best pleader in the State — " 

"I'll get the accent," I exclaimed, "you're dead 
right: I had already felt the need of it; but I was 
obstinate, now I'll get it: you may bet on that, get 
it within a week" and I did. 

There was a lawyer in the town named Hoysradt 
who had had a fierce quarrel with my brother Willie. 



282 



MY LIFE AND LOVES. 



He had the most pronounced Western American 
accent I had ever heard and I set myself the task 
every morning and evening of imitating Hoysradt's 
accent and manner of speech. I made it a rule too, 
to use the slow Western enunciation in ordinary 
speech and in a week, no one would have taken me 
for any one but an American. 

Sommerfeld was delighted and told me he had 
fuller confidence in me than ever and from that time 
on our accord was perfect, for the better I knew him, 
the more highly I esteemed him: he was indeed able, 
hardworking, truthful and honest — a compact of 
all the virtues, but so modest and inarticulate that 
he was often his own worst enemy. 




WORK AND SOPHY. 

Chapter XIV. 

XTow began for me a most delightful time. Sommer- 
feld relieved me of nearly all the office work: 
I had only to get up the speeches, for he prepared 
the cases for me. My income was so large that I only 
slept in my office-room for convenience sake, or rather 
for my lechery's sake. 

I kept a buggy and horse at a livery stable and 
used to drive Lily or Rose out nearly every day. As 
Rose lived on the other side of the river, it was easy 
to keep the two separate and indeed neither of them 
ever dreamed of the other's existence. I had a very 
soft spot in my heart for Rose: her beauty of face 
and form always excited and pleased me and her 
mind, too, grew quickly through our talks and the 
books I gave her. I'll never forget her joy when 
I first bought a small bookcase and sent it to her 
home one morning, full of the books I thought she 
would like and ought to read. 

In the evening she came straight to my office, told 
me it was the very thing she had most wanted and 
she let me study her beauties one by one; but when 
I turned her round and kissed her bottom, she wanted 
me to stop: "You can't possibly like or admire that", 
was her verdict. 

"Indeed I do," I cried; but I confessed to myself 



284 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

that she was right; her bottom was adorably dimpled; 
but it was a little too fat, and the line underneath it 
was not perfect. One of her breasts, too, was prettier 
than the other, though both were small and stuck 
out boldly; my critical sense could find no fault with 
her triangle or her sex; the lips of it were perfect, 
very small and rose-red and her clitoris was like a 
tiny, tiny button. I often wished it were half an inch 
long like Mrs. Mayhew's. Only once in our inter- 
course did I try to bring her to ecstasy and only half 
succeeded; consequently I used simply to have her, 
just to enjoy myself and only now and then went 
on to a second orgasm so as really to warm her to 
the love-play ; Rose was anything but sensual, though 
invariably sweet and an excellent companion. How 
she could be so affectionate though sexually cold was 
always a puzzle to me. 

Lily, as I have said, was totally different: a merry 
little grig and born child of Venus : now and then she 
gave me a really poignant sensation. She was always 
deriding, Mrs. Mayhew; but curiously enough, she was 
very like her in many intimate ways — a sort of 
understudy of the older and more passionate woman, 
with a child's mischievous gaiety to boot and a 
childish joy in living, 

But a great and new sensation was now to come 
into my life. One evening a girl without a hat on 
and without knocking came into my office. Sommer- 
feld had gone home for the night and I was just 
putting my things straight before going out; she took 
my breath; she was astoundingly good-looking, very 
dark with great, black eyes and slight, girlish figure: 
"I'm Topsy", she announced and stood there smiling, 
as if the mere name told enough. 

"Come in", I said, "and take a seat: I've heard of 
you!" and I had. 



LAW WORK AND SOPHY. 285 

She was a privileged character in the town: she 
rode on the street-cars and railroads too without 
paying; those who challenged her were all "pore white 
trash", she said, and some man was always eager to 
pay for her: she never hesitated to go up to any man 
and ask him for a dollar or even five dollars — and 
invariably got what she wanted: her beauty was as 
compelling to men as her scornful aloofness. I had 
often heard of her as "that d — d pretty nigger girl!" 
but I could see no trace of any negro characteristic in 
her pure loveliness. 

She took the seat and said with a faint Southern 
accent I found pleasing, "You' name Harris?" 

"That's my name", I replied smiling: "You here 
instead Barker f she went on: "he sure deserved to 
die hiccuppin': pore white trash!" 

"What's your real name!" I asked. 

"They call me 'Topsy'," she replied, "but ma real 
true name is Sophy, Sophy Beveridge: you was very 
kind to my mother who lives upstairs: yes", she went 
on defiantly, "she's my mother and a mighty good 
mother too and don't you fergit it!" she added, 
tossing her head in contempt of my astonishment. 

"Your father must have been white!" I couldn't 
help remarking for I couldn't couple Topsy with the 
old octaroon, do what I would. She nodded, 
"he was white all right: that is, his skin was!" and 
she got up and wandered about the office as if it be- 
longed to her. "I'll call you, 'Sophy'," I said; for I 
felt a passionate revolt of injured pride in her. She 
smiled at me with pleasure. 

I didn't know what to do. I must not go with 
a colored girl: though 1 could see no sign of black 
blood in Sophy and certainly she was astonishingly 
good-looking even in her simple sprigged gown. 
As she moved about I could not but remark the lithe 



286 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

panther-like grace of her and her little breasts stuck 
out against the thin cotton garment with a most pro- 
vocative allurement: my mouth was parching when 
she swung round on me; "You ondressing me", she 
said smiling, "and I'se glad, 'cause my mother likes 
you and I loves her — sure pop!" 

There was something childish, direct, innocent 
even about her frankness that fascinated me and her 
good looks made sunshine in the darkening room. 

"I like you, Sophy", I said, "but anyone would 
have done as much for your mother as I did. She 
was ill!" 

"Hoo!" she snorted indignantly, "most white folk 
would have let her die right there on the stairs: I 
know them: they'd have been angry with her for 
groaning: I hate 'em!" and her great eyes glowered. 

She came over to me in a flash: 

"If you'd been American, I couldn't never have 
come to you, never! I'd rather have died, or saved 
and stole and paid you — " the scorn in her voice 
was bitter with hate: evidently the negro question 
had a side I had never realised. 

"But you're different", she went on, "an' I just 
came — " and she paused, lifting her great eyes to 
mine, with an unspoken offer in their lingering regard. 

"I'm glad", I said lamely, staving off the temp- 
tation, "and I hope you'll come again soon and we'll 
be great friends — eh, Sophy!" and I held out my 
hand smiling; but she pouted and looked at me with 
reproach or appeal or disappointment in her eyes. I 
could not resist: I took her hand and drew her to me 
and kissed her on the lips, slipping my right hand the 
while up to her left breast: it was as firm as india- 
rubber: at once I felt my sex stand and throb: resolve 
and desire fought in me, but I was accustomed to 
make my will supreme: 



LAW WORK AND SOPHY. 287 

"You are the loveliest girl in Lawrence", I said, 
"but I must really go now: I have an appointment 
and I'm late." 

She smiled enigmatically as I seized my hat and 
went, not stopping even to shut or lock the office door. 

As I walked up the street, my thoughts and feel- 
ings were all in a whirl: "Did I want her? Should 
I have her! Would she come again*? 

"Oh Hell! women are the very devil and he's not 
so black as he's painted! Black?" 

That night I was awakened by a loud knocking 
at my office door; I sprang up and opened without 
thinking and at once Sophy came in laughing. 

"What is it?" I cried half asleep still. 

"I'se tired waiting", she answered cheekily, "and 
anyways I just came." I was about to remonstrate 
with her when she cried: "You go right to bed" and 
she took my head in her hands and kissed me. My 
wish to resist died out of me. "Come quickly!" I 
said getting into bed and watching her as she stripped. 
In a hand's turn she had undressed to her chemise: "I 
reckon this'll do", she said coquettishly. 

"Please take it off", I cried and the next moment 
she was in my arms naked. As I touched her sex, she 
wound her arms round my neck and kissed me 
greedily with hot lips. To my astonishment her sex 
was well- formed and very small: I had always heard 
that negroes had far larger genitals than white people; 
but the lips of Sophy's sex were thick and firm, 
"Have you ever been had, Sophy?" I asked. 

"No, sir!" she replied, "I liked you because you 
never came after me and you was so kind and I thot 
that I'd be sure to do it sometime, so I'd rather let 
you have me than anyone else: I don't like colored 
men", she added, "and the white men all look down 

20 



288 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

on me and despise me and I — I love you", she 
whispered, burying her face on my neck. 

"It'll hurt you at first, Sophy, I'm afraid"; but 
she stilled all scruples with "Shucks, I don't care: if 
I gives you pleasure, I'se satisfied" and she opened 
her legs, stretching herself as I got on her. The next 
moment my sex was caressing her clitoris and of her- 
self she drew up her knees and suddenly with one 
movement brought my sex into hers and against the 
maiden barrier. Sophy had no hesitation: she moved 
her body lithely against me and the next moment I 
had forced the passage and was in her. I waited a 
little while and then began the love game. At once 
Sophy followed my movements, lifting her sex up to 
me as I pushed in and depressing it to hold me as 
I withdrew. Even when I quickened, she kept time 
and so gave me the most intense pleasure, thrill on 
thrill, and as I came and my seed spirted into her, 
the muscle inside her vagina gripped my sex, height- 
ening the sensation to an acute pang; she even kissed 
me more passionately than any other girl, licking the 
inside of my lips with her hot tongue. When I went 
on again with the slow in-and-out movements, she 
followed in perfect time and her trick of bending 
her sex down on mine as I withdrew and gripping it 
at the same time excited me madly: soon, of her own 
accord, she quickened while gripping and thrilling 
me till again we both spent together in an ecstasy. 

"You're a perfect wonder!" I cried to her then, 
panting in my turn, "but how did you learn so 
quickly?" 

"I loves you", she said, "so I do whatever I think 
you'd like and then I likes that too, see?" And her 
lovely face glowed against mine. 

I got up to show her the use of the syringe and 
found we were in a bath of blood. In a moment she 



LAW WORK AND SOPHY. 289 

had stripped the sheet off: "111 wash that in the 
morning" she said laughing while doubling it into a 
ball and throwing it in the corner. I turned the gas 
on full : never was there a more seductive figure. Her 
skin was darkish, it is true; but not darker than that 
of an ordinary Italian or Spanish girl, and her form 
had a curious attraction for me: her breasts, small 
and firm as elastic, stood out provocatively; her hips, 
however, were narrower than even Lily's though the 
cheeks of her bottom were full; her legs too were 
well-rounded, not a trace of the sticks of the negro; 
her feet even were slender and high-arched. 

"You are the loveliest girl I've ever seen!" I 
cried as I helped to put in the syringe and wash 
her sex. 

"You're mah man!" she said proudly, "an' I want 
to show you that I can love better than any white 
trash; they only gives themselves airs!" 

"You are white", 1 cried, "don't be absurd!" She 

shook her little head: "if you knew!" she said, "when 
I was a girl, a child, old white men, the best in town, 
used to say dirty words to me in the street and try 
to touch me — the beasts!" I gasped: I had had no 
idea of such contempt and persecution. 

When we were back in bed together: "tell me, 
Sophy dear, how you learned to move with me in 
time as you do and give me such thrills!" 

"Hoo!" she cried, gurgling with pleased joy, 
"that's easy to tell. I was scared you didn't like me, 
so this afternoon I went to wise ole niggah woman and 
&sk her how to make man love you really! She told 
me to go right to bed with you and do that", and she 
smiled. 

"Nothing more?" I asked: her eyes opened 
brightly, "Shu!" she cried, "if you want to do love 
again, I show you!" The next moment I was in her 

20* 



290 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

and now she kept even better time than at first and 
somehow or other the thick, firm lips of her sex 
seemed to excite me more than anyone had ever ex- 
cited me. Instinctively the lust grew in me and I 
quickened and as I came to the short, hard strokes, 
she suddenly slipped her legs together under me and 
closing them tightly held my sex as in a firm grip 
and then began "milking" me — no other word conveys 
the meaning — with extraordinary skill and speed, 
so that in a moment I was gasping and choking with 
the intensity of the sensation and my seed came in hot 
jets while she continued the milking movement, tire- 
less, indefatigable! 

"What a marvel you are!" I exclaimed as soon 
as I got breath enough to speak, "the best bedfellow 
I've ever had, wonderful, you dear, you!" 

All glowing with my praise, she wound her arms 
about my neck and mounted me as Lorna Mayhew had 
done once; but now what a difference! Lorna was 
so intent on gratifying her own lust that she often 
forgot my feelings altogether and her movements were 
awkward in the extreme; but Sophy thought only of 
me and, whereas Lorna was always slipping my sex 
out of her sheath, Sophy in some way seated herself 
on me and then began rocking her body back and 
forth while lifting it a little at each churning move- 
ment, so that my sex in the grip of her firm, thick 
lips had a sort of double movement. When she felt 
me coming as I soon did, she twirled half round on 
my organ half a dozen times with a new movement 
and then began rocking herself again, so that my seed 
was dragged out of me, so to speak, giving me inde- 
scribably acute, almost painful sensations. I was 
breathless thrilling with her every movement. 

"Had you any pleasure, Sophy f I asked as soon 
as we were lying side by side again. 



LAW WORK AND SOPHY. 291 

"Skuah!" she said smiling, "you're very strong, 
and you — " she asked, "was you pleased?" 

"Great God!" I cried, "I felt as if all the hairs 
of my head were travelling down my backbone like 
an army! You are extraordinary, you dear!" 

"Keep me with you, Frank", she whispered, "if 
you want me, I'll do anything, everything for you: I 
never hoped to have such a lover as you. Oh, this 
child's real glad her breasties and sex please you. 
You taught me that word, instead of the nasty word 
all white folk use; 'sex' is good word, very good!" and 
she crowed with delight. "What do colored people 
call it!" I asked: "Coozie", she replied smiling, 
Coozie! good word too, very good! 

Long years later I heard an American story 
which recalled Sophy's performance vividly. 

An engineer with a pretty daughter had an as- 
sistant who showed extraordinary qualities as a 
machinist and was quiet and well behaved to boot. 
The father introduced his helper to his daughter and 
the match was soon arranged. After the marriage, 
however, the son-in-law drew away and 'twas in 
vain that the father-in-law tried to guess the reason 
of the estrangement. At length he asked his son-in- 
law boldly for the reason: "I meant right, Bill", he 
began earnestly, "but if I've made a mistake I'll be 
sorry: waren't the goods accordin' to specification? 
Warn't she a virgin?" 

"It don't matter nothin'!" replied Bill, frowning. 

"Treat me fair, Bill", cried the father, "war she 
a virgin?" 

"How can I tell?" exclaimed Bill, "all I can say 
is, I never know'd a virgin before that had that 
cinder-shifting movement." 

Sophy was the first to show me the "cinder-shif- 
ting" movement and she surely was a virgin! 



292 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

As a mistress Sophy was perfection perfected and 
the long lines and slight curves of her lovely body 
came to have a special attraction for me as the very 
highest of the pleasure-giving type. 

Lily first and then Rose were astonished and 
perhaps a little hurt at the sudden cooling off of my 
passion for them. From time to time I took Rose out 
or sent her books and I had Lily anywhere, any when; 
but neither of them could compare with Sophy as a 
bedfellow and her talk even fascinated me more, the 
better I knew her. She had learned life from the 
streets, from the animal side first; but it was aston- 
ishing how quickly she grew in understanding: love 
is the only magical teacher! In a fortnight her speech 
was better than Lily's; in a month she talked as well 
as any of the American girls I had had; her desire 
of knowledge and her sponge-like ease of acquirement 
were always surprising me. She had a lovelier figure 
than even Rose and ten times the seduction even of 
Lily: she never hesitated to take my sex in her hand 
and caress it; she was a child of nature, bold with an 
animal's boldness and had besides a thousand endear- 
ing familiarities. I had only to hint a wish for her 
to gratify it. Sophy was the pearl of all the girls I 
met in this first stage of my development and I only 
wish I could convey to the reader a suggestion even 
of her quaint, enthralling caresses. My admiration of 
Sophy cleansed me of any possible disdain I might 
otherwise have had of the negro people, and I am 
glad of it; for else I might have closed my heart 
against the Hindu and so missed the best part of 
my life's experiences. 

I have had a great artist make the sketch of her 
back which I reproduce at the end of this chapter: it 
conveys something of the strange vigor and nerve- 
force of her lovely firm body. 



LAW WORK AND SOPHY. 293 

But it was written that as soon as I reached ease 
and content, the Fates would reshuffle the cards and 
deal me another hand. 

First of all, there came a letter from Smith, 
telling me how he had got a bad wetting one night 
and had caught a severe cold. The cough then had 
returned and he was losing weight and heart. He 
had come to the conclusion, too, that I had reached, 
that the moist air of Philadelphia was doing him harm 
and the doctors now were beginning to urge him to 
go to Denver, Colorado: all the foremost specialists 
agreeing that mountain air was the best for his lung- 
weakness. If I couldn't come to him, I must wire him 
and he'd stop in Lawrence to see me on his way West, 
he had much to say — 

A couple of days later he was in the Eldridge 
House and I went to see him. His appearance shocked 
me: he had grown spectre thin and the great eyes 
seemed to burn like lamps in his white face. I knew 
at once that he was doomed and could scarcely control 
my tears. 

We passed the whole day together and when he 
heard how I spent my days in casual reading and 
occasional speaking and my Topsy-turvey nights, he 
urged me to throw up the law and go to Europe to 
make myself a real scholar and thinker. But I could 
not give up Sophy and my ultra-pleasant life. So 
I resisted, told him he overrated me: I'd easily 
be the best advocate in the State, I said, and make a 
lot of money and then I'd go back and do Europe 
and study as well. 

He warned me that I must choose between God 
and Mammon; I retorted lightly that Mammon and 
my senses gave me much that God denied: "I'll serve 
both", I cried, but he shook his head. 

"I'm finished, Frank", he declared at length, "but 



294 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

I'd regret life less if I knew that you would take up 
the work I once hoped to accomplish, won't you?" 

I couldn't resist his appeal: "All right", I said, 
after choking down my tears, "give me a few months 
and I'll go, round the world first and then to Germany 
to study". 

He drew me to him and kissed me on the fore- 
head: I felt it as a sort of consecration. 

A day or so afterwards he took train for Denver 
and I felt as if the sun had gone out of my life. 

I had little to do in Lawrence at this time except 
read at large and I began to spend a couple of hours 
«very day in the town library. Mrs. Trask, the 
librarian, was the widow of one of the early settlers 
who had been brutally murdered during the Quantrell 
raid when Missourian bandits "shot up" the little 
town of Lawrence in a last attempt to turn Kansas 
into a slave-owning state. 

Mrs. Trask was a rather pretty little woman who 
had been made librarian to compensate her in some 
sort for the loss of her husband. She was well-read 
in American literature and I often took her advice 
as to my choice of books. She liked me, I think, for 
she was invariably kind to me and I owe her many 
pleasant hours and some instruction. 

After Smith had gone West I spent more and 
more time in the library for my law-work was 
becoming easier to me every hour. One day about a 
month after Smith had left, I went into the library 
and could find nothing enticing to read. Mrs. Trask 
happened to be passing and I asked her: "What am 
I to read?" 

'Have you read any of that?" she replied 
pointing to Bonn's edition of Emerson in two volumes. 
"He's good!" 



LAW WORK AND SOPHY. 295 

"I saw him in Concord", I said, "but he was deaf 
and made little impression on me." 

"He's the greatest American thinker", she 
retorted, "and you ought to read him". 

Automatically I took down the volume and it 
opened of itself at the last page of Emerson's advice 
to the scholars of Dartmouth College. Every word 
is still printed on my memory: I can see the left- 
hand page and read again that divine message: I 
make no excuse for quoting it almost word for word: 

"Gentlemen, I have ventured to offer you these 
considerations upon the scholar's place and hope, 
because I thought that standing, as many of you now 
do, on the threshold of this College, girt and ready 
to go and assume tasks, public and private, in your 
country, you would not be sorry to be admonished 
of those primary duties of the intellect whereof you 
will seldom hear from the lips of your new 
companions. You will hear every day the maxims 
of a low prudence. You will hear that the first duty 
is to get land and money, place and name. 'What 
is this Truth you seek? what is this beauty!' men 
will ask, with derision. If nevertheless God have 
called any of you to explore truth and beauty, be 
bold, be firm, be true. When you shall say, 'As 
others do, so will I: I renounce, I am sorry for it, 
my early visions ; I must eat the good of the land and 
let learning and romantic expectations go, until a 
more convenient season'; — then dies the man in 
you; then once more perish the buds of art, and 
poetry, and science, as they have died already in a 
thousand thousand men. The hour of that choice is 
the crisis of your history, and see that you hold your- 
self fast by the intellect. It is this domineering 
temper of the sensual world that creates the extreme 
need of the priests of science ... Be content with a 



296 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

little light, so it be your own. Explore, and explore. 
Be neither chided nor flattered out of your position 
of perpetual inquiry. Neither dogmatize, nor accept 
another's dogmatism. Why should you renounce your 
right to traverse the star-lit deserts of truth, for 
the premature comforts of an acre, house, and barnf 
Truth also has its roof, and bed, and board. Make 
yourself necessary to the world, and mankind will 
give you bread, and if not store of it, yet such as 
shall not take away your property in all men's 
affections, in art, in nature, and in hope." 

The truth of it shocked me: "then perish the 
buds of art and poetry and science in you as they 
have perished already in a thousand, thousand men!" 
That explained why it was that there was no 
Shakespeare, no Bacon, no Swinburne in America 
where, according to population and wealth there 
should be dozens. 

There flashed on me the realization of the truth, 
that just because wealth was easy to get here, it 
exercised an incomparable attraction and in its pur- 
suit "perished a thousand, thousand" gifted spirits 
who might have steered humanity to new and nobler 
accomplishment. 

The question imposed itself: "Was I too to sink 
to fatness! wallow in sensuality, degrade myself for 
a nerve-thrill V J 

"No!" I cried to myself, "ten thousand times, no! 
No! I'll go and seek the star-lit deserts of Truth or 
die on the way!" 

I closed the book and with it and the second 
volume of it in my hand went to Mrs. Trask. 

"I want to buy this book", I said, "it has a mes- 
sage for me that I must never forget!" 

"I'm glad", said the little lady smiling, "what 
is it?" 



LAW WORK AND SOPHY. 297 

I read her a part of the passage: "I see", she 
exclaimed, "but why do you want the books 1" 

"I want to take them with me", I said, "I mean to 
leave Lawrence at once and go to Germany to study!" 

"Good gracious!" she cried, "how can you do that? 
I thought you were a partner of Sommerf eld's; you 
can't go at once!" 

"I must", I said, "the ground burns under my 
feet: if I don't go now, I shall never go: I'll be out 
of Lawrence tomorrow!" 

Mrs. Trask threw up her hands and remonstrated 
with me: such quick decisions were dangerous; "why 
should I be in such a hurry!" 

I repeated time and again: "If I don't go at once, 
I shall never go: 'the ignoble pleasures' will grow 
sweeter and sweeter to me and I shall sink gradually 
and drown in the mud-honey of life." 

Finally seeing I was adamant and my mind fixed : 
she sold me the books at full price with some demur, 
then she added: 

"I almost wish I had never recommended Emer- 
son to you!" and the dear lady looked distressed, 
almost on the verge of tears. 

"Never regret that!" I cried, "I shall remember 
you as long as I live because of that and always be 
grateful to you. Professor Smith told me I ought to 
go; but it needed the word of Emerson to give me 
the last push! The buds of poetry and science and 
art shall not perish in me as they have 'perished 
already in a thousand, thousand men!' Thanks to 
you!" I added warmly, "all my best heart-thanks; 
you have been to me the messenger of high fortune." 

I clasped her hands, wished to kiss her, but 
foolishly feared to hurt her and so contented myself 
with a long kiss on her hand and went out at once to 
find Sommerfeld. 



298 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

He was in the office and forthwith I told him the 
whole story, how Smith had tried to persuade me and 
how I had resisted till this page of Emerson had 
convinced me: "I am sorry to leave you in the lurch," 
I explained; but "I must go and go at once". 

He told me it was madness : I could study German 
right there in Lawrence; he would help me with it 
gladly. "You mustn't throw away a livelihood just 
for a word", he cried, "it is madness, I never heard 
a more insane decision!" 

We argued for hours: I couldn't convince him 
any more than he could persuade me ; he tried his best 
to get me to stay two years at any rate and then go 
with full pockets: "you can easily spare two years", 
he cried, but I retorted, "not even two days: I'm 
frightened of myself." 

When he found that I wanted the money to go 
round the world with first, he saw a chance of delay 
and said I must give him some time to find out what 
was coming to me; I told him I trusted him utterly 
(as indeed I did) and could only give him the Satur- 
day and Sunday, for I'd go on the Monday at the 
latest. He gave in at last and was very kind. 

I got a dress and little hat for Lily and' lots of 
books beside a chinchilla cape for Eose and broke 
the news to Lily next morning, keeping the after- 
noon for Eose. To my astonishment I had most 
trouble with Lily: she would not hear any reason: 
"There is no reason in it", she cried again and again, 
and then she broke down in a storm of tears: "What 
will become of met" she sobbed, "I always hoped you'd 
marry me!" she confessed at last, "and now you go 
away for nothing, nothing — on a wild-goose chase — 
to study", she added in a tone of absolute disdain, 
"just as if you couldn't study here!" 

"I'm too young to marry, Lily," I said, "and — " 



LAW WORK AND SOPHY. 299 

"You were not too young to make me love you'\ 
she broke in, "and now what shall I do? Even Mamma 
said that we ought to be engaged and I want you so, 
— oh! oh!" and again the tears fell in a shower. 

I could not help saying at last that I would 
think it all over and let her know and away I went 
to Rose. Rose heard me out in complete silence and 
then with her eyes on mine in lingering affection, 
she said: 

"Do you know, I've been afraid often of some 
decision like this. I said to myself a dozen times, 
'why should he stay here? the wider world calls him' 
and if I feel inclined to hate my work because it 
prevents my studying, what must it be for him in 
that horrible court, fighting day after day? I always 
knew I should lose you, dear!" she added, "but you 
were the first to help me to think and read, so I must 
not complain. Do you go soon?" 

"On Monday," I replied, and her dear eyes grew 
sombre and her lips quivered. "You'll write?" she 
asked, "please do, Frank! No matter what happens 
I shall never forget you: you've helped me, encourag- 
ed me more than I can say. Did I tell you, I've got 
a place in Crew's bookstore? When I said I had 
learned to love books from you, he was glad and said 
'if you get to know them as well as he did, or half as 
well, you'll be invaluable'; so you see, I an following 
in your footsteps, as you are following in Smith's." 

"If you knew how glad I am that I've really help- 
ed and not hurt you, Rose?" I said sadly, for Lily's 
accusing voice was still in my ears. 

"You couldn't hurt anyone," she exclaimed, almost 
as if she divined my remorse, "you are so gentle and 
kind and understanding". 

Her words were balm to me and she walked with 
me to the bridge where I told her she would hear 



300 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

from me on the morrow. I wanted to know what she 
would think of the books and cape. The last thing 
I saw of her was her hand raised as if in benediction. 

I kept the Sunday morning for Sommerfeld and 
my friend Will Thompson and the rest of the day for 
Sophy. 

Sommerfeld came to the office before nine and 
told me the firm owed me three thousand dollars: I 
didn't wish to take it; could not believe he had meant 
to go halves with me but he insisted and paid me. 

"I don't agree with your sudden determination," 
he said, "perhaps because it was sudden; but I've no 
doubt you'll do well at anything you take up. Let 
me hear from you now and again and if you ever need 
a friend, you know where to find me!" 

As we shook hands I realised that parting could 
be as painful as the tearing asunder of flesh. 

Will Thompson, I found, was eager to take over 
the hoardings and my position in Liberty Hall; he had 
brought his father with him and after much bar- 
gaining I conveyed everything I could, over to him 
for three thousand five hundred dollars, and so after 
four year's work I had just the money I had had in 
Chicago four years earlier! 

I dined in the Eldridge House and then went 
back to the office to meet Sophy who was destined 
to surprise me more even than Lily or Kose: "I'm 
coming with you," she announced coolly, "if you're 
not ashamed to have me along; you goin' Frisco, — 
so far anyway — " she pleaded divining my surprise 
and unwillingness. 

"Of course, I'll be delighted," I said, "but — " 
I simply could not refuse her. 

She gurgled with joy and drew out her purse: 
"I've four hundred dollars", she said proudly, "and 
that '11 take this child a long way". 



LAW WORK AND SOPHY. 301 

I made her put the money away and promise me 
she wouldn't spend a cent of her money while we 
were together and then I told her how I wished to 
dress her when we got to Denver, for I wanted to 
stop there for a couple of days to see Smith who had 
written approving of everything I did and adding, 
to my heart's joy, that he was much better. 

On the Monday morning Sophy and I started 
westwards: she had had the tact to go to the depot first 
so that no one in Lawrence ever coupled our names. 
Sommerfeld and Judge Bassett saw me off at the de- 
pot and wished me "all luck!" And so the second 
stage of my life came to an end. 

Sophy was a lively sweet companion; after leaving 
Topeka, she came boldly into my compartment and 
did not leave me again. May I confess it? I'd rather 
she had stayed in Lawrence; I wanted the adventure 
of being alone and there was a girl in the train whose 
long eyes held mine as I passed her seat, and I passed 
it often: I'd have spoken to her if Sophy had not been 
with me. 

When we got to Denver, I called on Smith, leaving 
Sophy in the hotel. I found him better, but divined 
that the cursed disease was only taking breath, so to 
speak, before the final assault. He came back with 
me to my hotel and as soon as he saw Sophy, he de- 
clared I must go back with him, he had forgotten to 
give me something I must have. I smiled at Sophy 
to whom Smith was very courteous-kind and accom- 
panied him. As soon as we were in the street, Smith 
began in horror: 

"Frank, she's a colored girl: you must leave her 
at once or you'll make dreadful trouble for yourself 
later". "How did you know she was colored?" I 
asked. "Look at her nails!" he cried, "and her eyes: 



302 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

no Southerner would be in doubt for a moment. You 
must leave her at once, please!" 

"We are going to part at Frisco", I said. And 
when he pressed me to send her back at once, I re- 
fused. I would not put such shame upon her and 
even now I'm sure I was right in that resolve. 

Smith was sorry but kind to me and so we parted 
forever. 

He had done more for me than any other man 
and now after fifty years I can only confess my in- 
commensurable debt to him and the hot tears come 
into my eyes now as they came when our hands met 
for the last time : he was the dearest, sweetest, noblest 
spirit of a man I have met in this earthly pilgrimage. 
Ave atque vale. 

As the time drew on to the day when the boat was 
to start, Sophy grew thoughtful. I got her a pretty 
corn-colored dress that set off her beauty as golden 
sunlight a lovely woodland, and when she thanked 
and hugged me, I wanted to put my hand up her 
clothes for she had made a mischievous, naughty 
remark that amused me and reminded me we had 
driven all the previous day and I had not had her. 
To my surprise she stopped me: "I've not washed 
since we came in", she explained. 

"Do you wash so often?" "Shuah," she replied, 
fixing me. 

"Why?" I asked, searching her regard. 

"Because I'm afraid of nigger-smell," she flung 
out passionately — 

"What nonsense!" I exclaimed. 

"Tain't either", she contradicted me angrily, "My 
mother took me once to negro-church and I near 
choked: I never went again; 1 just couldn't: when 
they get hot, they stink — pah!" and she shook her 
head and made a face in utter disgust and contempt. 




\ 
























LAW WORK AND SOPHY. 303 

"That's why you goin' to leave me", she added 
after a long pause, with tears in her voice; "if it 
wasn't for that damned nigger blood in me, I'd never 
leave you: I'd just go on with you as servant or 
anything: ah God, how I love you and how lonely 
this Topsy'll be!" and the tears ran down her quivering 
face. "If I were only all white or all black," she 
sobbed: "I'm so unhappy!" My heart bled for her. 

If it had not been for the memory of Smith's 
disdain, I would have given in and taken her with 
me. As it was, I could only do my best to console 
her by saying: "a couple of years, Sophy, and I'll re- 
turn; they'll pass quickly: I'll write you often, dear!" 

But Sophy knew better and when the last night 
came, she surpassed herself. It was warm and we 
went early to bed: "it's my night!" she said: "you 
just let me show you, you dear! I don't want you 
to go after any whitish girl in those Islands till you 
get to China and you won't go with those yellow, 
slit-eyed girls — that's why I love you so, because 
you keep yourself for those you like: — but you're 
naughty to like so many — ma man!" and she kissed 
me with passion: she let me have her almost without 
response, but after the first orgasm she gripped my 
sex and milked me, and afterwards mounting me made 
me thrill again and again till I was speechless and 
like children we fell asleep in each other's arms, 
weeping for the parting on the morrow. 

I said "Good-bye!" at the hotel and went on 
board the steamer by myself: my eyes set on the 
Golden Gate into the great Pacific and the hopes 
and hazards of the new life. At length I was to see 
the world: what would I find in it? I had no idea then 
that I should find little or much in exact measure to 
what I brought and it is now the saddest part of 
these Confessions that on this first trip round the 

21 



304 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

world, I was so untutored, so thoughtless that I got 
practically nothing out of my long journeying. 

Like Odysseus I saw many cities of men; but 
scenes seldom enrich the spirit: yet one or two places 
made a distinct impression on me, young and hard 
though I was : Sidney Bay and Heights, Hong Kong, 
too; but above all, the old Chinese gate leading into 
the Chinese City of Shanghai so close to the European 
town and so astonishingly different. Kioto, too, im- 
printed itself on my memory and the Japanese men 
and girls that ran naked out of their hot baths in 
order to see whether I was really white all over. 

But I learned nothing worth recalling till I came 
to Table Bay and saw the long line of Table Moun- 
tain four thousand feet above me, a cliff cutting the sky 
with an incomparable effect of dignity and grandeur. 
I stayed in Cape Town a month or so, and by good 
luck I got to know Jan Hofmeyr there who taught me 
what good fellows the Boers really were and how 
highly the English Premier Gladstone was esteemed 
for giving freedom to them after Majuba: "we 
look on him with reverence" said my friend, 
Hofmeyr, "as the embodied conscience of England"; 
but alas! England could not stomach Majuba and 
had to spend blood and treasure later to demonstrate 
the manhood of the Boers to the world. But thank 
God, England then gave freedom and self-government 
again to South Africa and so atoned for her shame- 
ful "Concentration Camps". Thanks to Jan Hofmeyr 
I got to know and esteem the South African Boer 
even on this first short acquaintance. 

When I went round the world for the second time 
twenty years later, I tried to find the Hofmeyrs of 
every country and so learned all manner of things 
worthful and strange that I shall tell of, I hope, at 
the end of my next volume. For the only short cut to 



LAW WORK AND SOPHY 305 

knowledge is through intercourse with wise and 
gifted men. 

Now I must confess something of my first six 
months of madness and pleasure in Paris and then 
speak of England again and Thomas Carlyle and Ms 
incomparable influence upon me and so lead you, 
gentle render, to my, later prentice years in Germany 
and Greece. 

There in Athens I learned new sex-secrets which 
may perchance interest even the Philistines though 
they can be learned in Paris as well, and will be set 
forth simply in the second volume of these 
"Confessions", which will tell the whole "art of love" 
as understood in Europe and perhaps contain my 
second voyage round the world and the further 
instruction in the great art which I received from the 
Adepts of the East — unimaginable refinements, for 
they have studied the body as deeply as the soul. 





21* 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 

Chapter XV. 

T returned to Europe touching at Bombay and 
* getting just a whiff of the intoxicating perfume of 
that wonder-land with its noble, though sad, spiri- 
tual teaching which is now beginning through the 
Rig Veda to inform the best European thought. 

I stopped too at Alexandria and ran up to Cairo 
for a week to see the great Mosques: I admired their 
splendid rhetoric; but fell in love with the desert 
and its Pyramids and above all with the Sphinx and 
her eternal questioning of sense and outward things. 
Thus by easy, memorable stages that included Genoa 
and Florence and their storied palaces and churches 
and galleries, I came at length to Paris. 

I distrust first impressions of great places or 
events or men. Who could describe the deathless 
fascination of the mere name and first view of Paris 
to the young student or artist of another race! If 
he has read and thought, he will be in a fever; tears 
in his eyes, heart thrilling with joyful expectancy, 
he will wander into that world of wonders! 

I got to the station early one summer morning 
and sent my baggage at once by fiacre to the Hotel 
Meurice in the rue Rivoli; the same old hotel that 
Lever the novelist had praised, and then I got into 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 307 

a little Victoria and drove to the Place de la Bastille. 
The obvious cafe life of the people did not appeal to 
me; but when I saw the Glory springing from tin* 
Column of July, tears flooded my eyes, for T re- 
called Carlyle's description of the taking of the prison. 

1 paid the eocher and wandered up the rue Rivoli, 
past the Louvre, past the blackened walls with the 
sightless windows of the Tuileries palace — a regret 
in their desolate appeal, and so to the Place de la 
Grevo with its memories of the guillotine and the 
great revolution, now merged in the Place de la Con- 
corde. Just opposite I could distinguish the gilt dome 
of the Church of the Invalides where the body of 
Napoleon lies as he desired: "On the banks of the 
Seine, in the midst of that French people 1 have loved 
so passionately!" 

And there were the horses of Marly ramping at 
the entrance to the Champs Elysees and at the far 
end of the long hill, the Arch! The words came to 
my lips: 

Up the long dim road where thundered 
The army of Italy onward 

By the great pale arch of the Star. 

It was the deep historic sense of this great people 
that first won me and their loving admiration of 
their poets and artists and guides. I can never 
describe the thrill it gave me to find on a small house 
a marble plaque recording the fact that poor de Mxis 
set had once lived there, and another on the house 
wherein he died. Oh, how right the French are to 
have a Place Malherbe, and Avenue Victor Hugo, an 
Avenue de la Grande Armee too, and an Avenue de 
L'Imperatrice as well, though it has since been chan- 
ged prosaically into the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne. 

From the Place de la Concorde I crossed the 
Seine and walked down the quays to the left, and 



308 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

soon passed the Conciergerie and Ste Chapelle with 
its gorgeous painted glass- windows of a thousand 
years ago and there before me on the He de la Cite. 
Lie twin towers of Notre Dame caught my eyes and 
breath and finally, early in the afternoon T turned 
up the Boul' Mich and passed the Sorbonne and then 
somehow or other lost myself in the old rue St. 
Jacques that Dumas pere and other romance-writers 
had described for me a thousand times. 

I little tired at length having left the Luxem- 
burg gardens far behind with their statues which T 
promised myself soon to study more closely, I turned 
into a little wine-shop restaurant kept by a portly 
and pleasant lady whose name I soon learned was 
Marguerite. After a most excellent meal I engaged 
a large room on the first floor looking on the street, 
for forty francs a month, and if a friend came to live 
with me, why Marguerite promised with a large smile 
io put in another bed for an additional ten francs 
monthly and supply us besides with coffee in the 
morning and whatever meals we wanted at most rea- 
sonable prices: there I lived gaudy, golden days for 
some three heavenly weeks. 

I threw myself on French like a glutton and this 
was my method, which I don't recommend but simply 
record, though it brought me to understand every- 
thing said by the end of the first week. I first spent 
five whole days on the grammar, learning all the verbs, 
especially the auxiliary and irregular verbs by heart, 
till I knew them as I knew my Alphabet. I then read 
Hugo's Hernani with a dictionary in another long day 
of eighteen hours and the next evening went to the 
gallery in the Comedie Francaise to see the play 
acted by Sarah Bernhardt as Doha Sol and Mounet 
Sully as Hernani. For a while the rapid speech and 
strange accent puzzled me; but after the first act I 



EUROPE AND THE OARLYLES. 309 

began to understand what was said on the stage and 
after the second act I caught every word and to my 
delight when I came out into the streets, I understood 
everything said to me After that golden night with 
Sarah's grave, traiaante voire in my ears, I made 
rapid because unconscious progress. 

Next day in the restaurant I picked up a dirty 
toj'u copy of Madame Bo vary that lacked the first 
eighty pages. I took it to my room and swallowed 
it in a couple of breathless hours, realising at once 
that it was a masterwork; but marking a hundred 
and fifty new words to turn out in my pocket diction- 
ary afterwards. I learned these words carefully by 
heart and have never given myself any trouble about 
French since. 

What I know of it and J know it fairly well now, 
has come from reading and speaking it for thirty odd 
years. I still make mistakes in it chiefly of gender. 
1 regret to say, and my accent is that of a foreigner, 
but taking it by and large I know it and its literature 
and speak it better than most foreigners and that suf- 
fices me. 

After some three weeks Ned Bancroft came from 
the States to live with me. He was never particu- 
larly sympathetic to me and I cannot account for our 
companionship save by the fact that I was peculi- 
arly heedless and full of human, unreflecting kind- 
ness. I have said little of Ned Bancroft who was in 
love with Kate Stevens before she fell for Professoi 
Smith; but 1 have just recorded the unselfish way 
he withdrew while keeping intact his friendship 
both for Smith ami the girl: I thought that very 
fine of him. 

He left Lawrence and the University shortly after 
we first met and by "pull" obtained a good position 
on the railroad at Columbus, Ohio. 



310 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

He was always writing to me to come to visit him 
and on my return from Philadelphia, in 1875 I think, 
T stopped at Columbus and spent a couple of days 
with him. As soon as he heard that I had gone to 
Europe and had reached Paris, he wrote to me that 
he wished I had asked him to come with me and so 
I wrote setting forth my purpose and at once he threw 
up his good prospects of riches and honor and came 
to me in Paris. We lived together for some six months : 
he was a tall, strong fellow, with pale face and gray 
eyes; a good student, an honorable, kindly, very in- 
telligent man; but we envisaged life from totally 
different sides and the longer we were together, the 
less we understood each other. 

In everything we were antipodes; he should have 
been an Englishman for he was a born aristocrat with 
imperious, expensive tastes, while I had really become 
a Western American, careless of dress or food or pos- 
ition, intent only on acquiring knowledge and, if 
possible, wisdom in order to reach greatness. 

The first evening we dined at Marguerite's and 
spent the night talking and swapping news. The very 
next afternoon Ned would go into Paris and we dined 
in a swell restaurant on the Grand Boulevard. A 
few tables away a tall, splendid-looking brunette of 
perhaps thirty was dining with two men: I soon saw 
that Ned and she were exchanging looks and making 
signs. He told me he intended to go home with 
her: I remonstrated but he was as obstinate as Charlie, 
and when I told him of the risks he said he'd never 
do it again; but this time he couldn't get out of it. 
"I'll pay the bill at once", I said, "and let's go!" but 
he would not, desire was alight in him and a feeling 
of false shame hindered him from taking my advice. 
Half an hour later the lady made a sign and he went 
out with the party and when she entered her Vic- 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 311 

toria, lie got in with her; the pair on the sidewalk, 
he said, bursting into laughter as he and the womn:; 
drove away together. 

Next morning he was back with me early, only 
saying that he had enjoyed himself hugely and was 
not even afraid. Her rooms were lovely, he declared; 
he had to give her a hundred francs: the bath and 
toilette arrangements were those of a queen: there 
was no danger. And he treated me to as wild a 
theory as Charlie had cherished: told me that the 
great cocottes who make heaps of money took as 
much care of themselves as gentlemen. "Go with a 
common prostitute and you'll catch something; go 
with a real topnotcher and she's sure to be all right!' 
And perfectly at ease he went to work with a will. 

Bancroft's way of learning French even was to- 
tally different from mine: he went at the grammar 
and syntax and mastered them: he could write excel- 
lent French at the end of four months; but spoke it 
very haltingly and with a ferocious American accent. 
When I told him I was going to hear Taine lecture 
on the Philosophy of Art and the Ideal in Art, he 
laughed at me; but I believe I got more from Taine 
than he got from his more exact knowledge of French. 
When I came to know Taine and was able to call on 
him and talk to him, Bancroft too wanted to know 
him. 1 brought them together; but clearly Taine was 
not impressed, for Ned out of false shame hardly 
opened his mouth. But I learned a good deal from 
Taine and one illustration of his abides with me as 
giving a true and vivid conception of art and its ideal. 
In a lecture he pointed out to his students that a lion 
was not a running beast; but a great jaw set on four 
powerful springs of short, massive legs. The artist, 
he went on, seizing the idea of the animal may 
exaggerate the size and strength of the jaw a little, 



312 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

emphasize too the springing power in his loins and 
legs and the tearing strength of his front paws and 
claws; but if he lengthened his legs or diminished his 
jaw, he would denaturalize the true idea of the beast 
and would produce an abortion. The ideal, however, 
should only be indicated. Taine's talks, too, on litera- 
ture and the importance of the environment even on 
great men, all made a profound impression on me. 
After listening to him for some time I began to see 
my way up more clearly. T shall never forget, too, 
some of his thought-inspiring words. Talking one 
day of the convent of Monte Casino, where a hundred 
generations of students, freed from all the sordid 
cares of existence, had given night and day to study 
and thought and had preserved besides the priceless 
manuscripts of long past ages and so paved the way 
for a Renascence of learning and thought, he added 
gravely : 

"I wonder whether Science will ever do as much 
for her votaries as Religion has done for hers: in 
other words, I wonder will there ever be a laic Monte 
( Visino!" 

Taine was a great teacher and I owe him much 
kindly encouragement and even enlightenment. 

I add this last word, because his French freedom 
of speech came as pure spring water to my thirsty 
soul. A dozen of us were grouped about him one day, 
talking when one student with a remarkable gift for 
vague thought and highfalutin' rhetoric, wanted to 
know what Taine thought of the idea that all the 
worlds and planets and solar systems were turning 
round one axis and moving to some divine fulfillment 
(acconiplissement). Taine, who always disliked windy 
rhetoric, remarked quietly: "The only axis in my 
knowledge round which everything moves to some 
accomplishment is a woman's cunt (le con d'une 



EUROPE AND THE OARLYLES. 313 

femme). r They laughed, but not as if the hold word 
had astonished them. He used it when it was needed, 
as I have often heard Anatole France use it since. 
and no one thought anything of it. 

In spite of the gorgeous installation of his bru- 
nette, Ned at the end of a week found out how- 
Messed are those described in Holy Writ, who fished 
all night and caught nothing. He had caught a dread- 
ful gonorrhea and was forbidden spirits or wine or 
coffee till he got well. Exercise, too, was only to be 
In ken in small doses, so it happened that when 1 went 
out, he had to stay at home and the outlook on the rue 
St. Jacques was anything but exhilarating. This nat- 
urally increased Ids desire to get about and see 
things, and as soon as he began to understand spoken 
French and to speak it a little, he chafed against the 
confinement and a room without a bath; he longed for 
the centre, ['or the opera and the Boulevards, and 
nothing would do but we should take rooms in the 
heart of Paris: he would borrow money from his folks, 
lie said. 

Like a fool ! was willing and so we took rooms 
one day in a quiet street just behind the Madeleine, 
at ten times the price we were paying Marguerite. I 
soon found that my money Avas melting; but the life 
was very pleasant. We often drove in the Bois, went 
Frequently to the Opera, the theatres and music-halls 
c\\\(\ appraised; too, the great restaurants, the Cafe 
Anglais and the Trois Fibres as if we had been 
millionaires. 

As luck would have it, Ned's venereal disease and 
the doctors became a heavy additional expense that I 
could ill afford. Suddenly one day I realised that I 
had onlv six hundred dollars in the bank: at once 1 
made up my mind to stop and make a fresh start. 
I told mv resolution to Bancroft: he asked me to wait: 



314 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"lie had written to his people for money", he said, "he 
would soon pay his debt to me'' ; but that wasn't what 
I wanted: I felt that I had got off the right road be- 
cause of Mm and was angry with myself for having 
wasted my substance in profligate living and worst 
of all in silly luxury and brainless showing off. 

I declared I was ill and was going to England at 
once; I must make a new start and accumulate some 
more money and a few mornings later I bade Bancroft 
"Good-bye" and crossed the Channel and went on to 
my sister and father in Tenby, arriving there in a 
severe shivering lit with a bad headache and every 
symptom of ague. 

I was indeed ill and played out: I had taken 
double doses of life and literature, had swallowed all 
the chief French writers from Rabelais and Montaigne 
to Flaubert, Zola and Balzac, passing by Pascal and 
Vauvenargues, Renan and Hugo, a glutton's feast for 
six months. Then, too, I had nosed out this artist's 
studio and that; had spent hours watching Rodin at 
work and more hours comparing this painter's model 
with that: these breasts and hips with those. 

My love of plastic beauty nearly brought me to 
grief at least once and perhaps I had better record the 
incident, though it rather hurt my vanity at the time. 
One day I called at Manet's old studio which was 
rented now by an American painter named Alexan- 
der. He had real power as a craftsman but only a mo- 
derate brain and was always trying by beauty or 
something remarkable in his model to make up for 
his own want of originality. On this visit I noticed 
an extraordinary sketch of a young girl standing 
where childhood and womanhood meet: she had cut 
her hail* short and her chestnut-dark eyes lent her a 
startling distinction. 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 315 

"You like it?" asked Alexander. "She has the 
most perfect figure I have ever seen!" 

"I like it", I replied; "I wonder whether the magic 
is in the model or in your brush?" "You'll soon see", 
he retorted, a little piqued, "she's due here already" 
and almost as he spoke she came in with quick, alert 
step. She was below medium height; but evidently 
already a woman. Without a word she went behind 
the screens to undress, when Alexander said: "Well?" 
I had to think a moment or two before answering. 

"God and you have conspired together!" I ex- 
claimed, and indeed his brush had surpassed itself. 
He had caught and rendered a childish innocence in 
expression that I had not remarked and he had blocked 
in the features with superb brio: 

"It is your best work to date", I went on, "and 
almost anyone would have signed it." 

At this moment the model emerged with a sheet 
about her and probably because of my praise Alexan- 
der introduced me to Mile. Jeanne and said I was a 
distinguished American writer. She nodded to me 
saucily, flashing white teeth at me, mounted the 
estrade, threw off the sheet and took up her pose — 
all in a moment. I was carried off my feet; the more 
I looked, the more perfections I discovered. For the 
first time I saw a figure that I could find no fault 
with. Needless to say I told her so in my best French 
with a hundred similes. Alexander also I conciliated 
by begging him to do no more to the sketch but sell 
it to me and do another. Finally he took four hundred 
and fifty francs for it and in an hour had made 
another sketch. 

My purchase had convinced Mile. Jeanne that 
I was a young millionaire and when I asked her if I 
might accompany her to her home, she consented more 
than readily. As a matter of fact, I took her for a 



316 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

drive in the Bois de Boulogne and from there to 
dinner in a private room at the Cafe Anglais. During 
the meal I had got to like her: she lived with her 
mother, Alexander had told me; though by no means 
prudish, still less virginal, she was not a coureuse. 
I thought I might risk connection; but when I got 
her to take off her clothes and began to caress her sex, 
she drew away and said quite as a matter of course: 
"Why not faire minette?" 

When I asked her what she meant, she told me 
frankly: "We women do not get excited in a moment 
as you men do; why not kiss and tongue me there 
for a few minutes, then I shall have enjoyed 
myself and shall be ready " 

I'm afraid I made rather a face for she remarked 
coolly: "Just as you like, you know. I prefer 
in a meal tho hors d'oeuvres to the piece de resistance 
like a good many other women : indeed I often content 
myself with the hors d'oeuvres and don't take 
any more. Surely you understand that a woman 
goes on getting more and more excited for an hour 
or two and no man is capable of bringing her to the 
highest pitch of enjoyment while pleasing himself." 

"I'm able", I said stubbornly, "I can go on all 
night if you please me, so we should skip appetizers." 

"No, no!" she replied, laughing, "let us have a 
banquet then, but begin with lips and tongue!" 

The delay, the bandying to and fro of argument 
and above all, the idea of kissing and tonguing her 
sex, had brought me to coolness and reason. Was 
I not just as foolish as Bancroft if I yielded to her- 
an unknown girl. 

I replied finally, "No, little lady, your charms are 
not for me", and I took my seat again at the table and 
poured myself out some wine. I had the ordinary 
American or English youth's repugnance to what 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 317 

seemed like degradation, never guessing that Jeanne 
was giving me the second lesson in the noble art of 
seduction, of which my sister had taught me long ago 
the rudiments. 

The next time I was offered minette,! had 
grown wiser and made no scruples ; but that's another 
story. The fact is that in my first visit to Paris I 
kept perfectly chaste, thanks in part to the example of 
Ned's blunder; thanks, too, to my dislike of going 
with any girl sexually whom I didn't really care for, 
and I didn't care for Jeanne: she was too imperious 
and imperiousness in a girl is the quality I most dis- 
like, perhaps because I suffer from an overdose of the 
humor. At any rate, it was not sexual indulgence 
that broke my health in Paris; but my passionate 
desire to learn that had cut down my hours of sleep 
and exasperated my nerves: I took cold and had a 
dreadful recurrence of malaria. I wanted rest and 
time to take breath and think. 

The little house in a side-street in the lovelv 
Welsh watering-place was exactly the haven of rest 
I needed. I soon got well and strong and for the 
first time learned to know my father. He came for 
long walks with me, though he was over sixty. After 
his terrible accident seven years before (he slipped 
and fell thirty feet into a drydock while his ship was 
being repaired), one side of his hair and moustache 
had turned white while the other remained jet black. I 
was astonished first by his vigor: he thought nothing 
of a ten-mile walk and on one of our excursions I 
asked him why he had not given me the nomination 
I wanted as midshipman. 

He was curiously silent and waved the subject 
aside with: "The Navy for yout No!" and he shook 
his head. A few days afterwards, however, he came 
back to the subject of his own accord. 



318 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

"You asked me", he began, "why I didn't send you 
the nomination for the midshipman's examination. 
Now I'll tell you. To get on in the British Navy and 
make a career in it, you should either be well-born 
or well-off: you were neither. For a youth without 
position or money, there are only two possible roads 
up: servility or silence, and you were incapable of 
both." 

"Oh, Governor, how true and how wise of you!" 
1 cried, "but why, why didn't you tell met I'd have 
understood then as well as now and thought the more 
of you for thwarting me." 

"You forget", he went on, "that I had trained 
myself in the other road of silence: it is difficult for 
me even now to express myself", and he went on with 
bitterness in voice and accent: 

"They drove me to silence: if you knew what 1 
endured before I got my first step as lieutenant. If it 
hadn't been that I was determined to marry your 
mother, I could never have swallowed the countless 
humiliations of my brainless superiors! What would 
have happened to you I saw as in a glass. You were 
extraordinarily quick, impulsive and high- tempered: 
don't you know that brains and energy and will- 
power are hated by all the wastrels and in this world 
they are everywhere in the vast majority. Some lieu- 
tenant or captain would have taken an instantaneous 
dislike to you that would have grown on every mani- 
festation of your superiority: he would have laid traps 
for you of insubordination and insolence probably for 
months and then in some port where he was powerful, 
he would have brought you before a courtmartial and 
you would have been dismissed from the Navy in 
disgrace anad perhaps your whole life ruined. The 
British Navy is the worst place in the world for 
genius." 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 319 

That scene began my reconciliation with my 
father; one more experience completed it. 

I got wet through on one of our walks and next 
day had lumbago; I went to a pleasant Welsh doctor 
I had become acquainted with and he gave me a bottle 
of belladonna mixture for external use: "I have not got 
a proper poison bottle", he added, "and I've no busi- 
ness to give you this" (it is forbidden to dispense 
poisons in Great Britain save in rough octagonal bott- 
les which betray the nature of their contents to the 
touch). "I'll not drink it", I said laughing. "Well, 
if you do", he said, "don't send for me, for there's more 
than enough here to kill a dozen men!" I took the 
bottle and curiously enough, we talked belladonna and 
its effects for some minutes. Richards, (that was his 
name) promised to send me a black draught the same 
evening and he assured me that my lumbago would 
soon be cured and he was right: but the cure was not 
effected as he thought it would be. 

My sister had a girl of all work at this time called 
Eliza, Eliza Gibby, if I remember rightly. Lizzie, as 
we called her, was a slight, red-haired girl of perhaps 
eighteen with really large chestnut-brown eyes and a 
cheeky pug nose, and freckled neck and arms. I really 
don't know what induced me first to make up to her; 
but soon I was kissing her; when I wanted to touch 
her sex however, she drew away confiding to me that 
she was afraid of the possible consequences. I ex- 
plained to her immediately that I would withdraw 
after the first spasm, and then there would be no 
more risk. She trusted me and one night she came to 
my room in her night-dress. I took it off with many 
kisses and was really astounded by her ivory white 
skin and almost perfect girlish form. I laid her on 
the edge of my bed, put her knees comfortably under 
my arm-pits and began to rub her clitoris: in a 

22 



320 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

moment the brown eyes turned up and I ventured to 
slip in the head of my sex; to my surprise there was 
no maidenhead to break through and soon my sex had 
slipt into the tightest cunt I had ever met. Very 
soon I played Onan and like that Biblical hero "spilt 
my seed upon the ground" — which in my case was 
a carpet. 

I then got into bed with her and practiced the 
whole art of love as I understood it at that time. A 
couple of hours of it brought me four or five orgasms 
and Lizzie a couple of dozen, to judge by hurried 
breathings, inarticulate cries and long kissings that 
soon became mouthings. 

Lizzie was what most men would have thought a 
perfect bedfellow; but I missed Sophy's science and 
Sophy's passionate determination to give me the ut- 
most thrill conceivable. Still in a dozen pleasant 
nights we became great friends and I began to notice 
that by working in and out very slowly I could after 
the first orgasm go on indefinitely without spending 
again. Alas! I had no idea at the time that this 
control simply marked the first decrease of my sexual 
power. If I had only known, I would have cut out 
all the Lizzies that infested my life and reserved my- 
self for the love that was soon to oust the mere sex- 
urge. 

Next door to us lived a doctor's widow with two 
daughters, the eldest a medium-sized girl with large 
head and good grey eyes, hardly to be called pretty 
though all girls were pretty enough to excite me for 
the next ten years or more. This eldest girl was called 
Molly — a pet name for Maria. Her sister Kathleen 
was far more attractive physically: she was rather 
tall and slight, with a lithe grace of figure that was 
intensely provocative. Yet though I noted all Kath- 
leen's feline witchery, I fell prone for Molly. She 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 321 

seemed to me both intelligent and witty: she had read 
widely too and knew both French and German; she 
was as far above all the American girls I had met in 
knowledge of books and art as she was inferior to 
the best of them in bodily beauty. For the first time 
my mind was excited and interested and I thought J 
was in love and one late afternoon or early evening 
on Castle Hill I told her I loved her and we oecame 
engaged. Oh, the sweet folly of it all! When she 
asked me how we should live, what I intended to do, 
I had no answer ready save the perfect self-confidence 
of the man who had already proved himself in the 
struggle of life. Fortunately for me, that didn't seem 
very convincing to her: she admitted that she was 
three years older than I was and if she had said four, 
she would have been nearer the truth, and she was 
quite certain I would not find it so easy to win in 
England as in America: she underrated both my 
brains and my strength of will. She confided to me 
that she had a hundred a year of her own: but that, 
of course, was wholly inadequate. So though she 
kissed me freely and allowed me a score of little pri- 
vacies, she was resolved not to give herself completely. 
Her distrust of my ability and her delightfully 
piquant reserve heightened my passion and once 1 
won her consent to an immediate marriage. At her 
best Molly was astonishingly intelligent and frank. 
One night alone together in our sitting-room which my 
father and sister left to us, I tried my best to get her 
to give herself to me. But she shook her head: "it 
would not be right, dear, till we are married", she 
persisted. 

"Suppose we were on a desert island", I said, 
"and no marriage possible?" "My darling!" she said 
kissing me on the mouth and laughing aloud, "don't 
you know, I should yield then without your urging: 

22* 



322 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

you dear! I want you, Sir, perhaps more than you 
want me." But she wore closed drawers and I didn't 
know how to unbutton them at the sides and though 
she grew intensely and quickly excited, I could not 
break down the final barrier. In any case, before 1 
could win, Fate used her shears decisively. 

One morning I reproached Lizzie for not bringing 
me up a black draught Doctor Eichards had promised 
to send me. "It's on the mantle-piece in the dining- 
room", I said, "but don't trouble, I'll get it myself", 
and I ran down as I was. An evening or two later 
I left the belladonna mixture the doctor had made 
up for me on the chimney piece! Like the black 
draught it was dark brown in color and in a similar 
bottle. 

Next morning Lizzie woke me and offered me a 
glassful of dark liquid: "Your medicine" she said and 
half asleep still, I told her to leave the breakfast tray 
on the table by my bed and then drained the glass 
she offered to me. The taste awoke me: the drink had 
made my whole mouth and throat dry: I sprang out 
of bed and went to the looking-glass, yes! yes! the 
pupils of my eyes were unnaturally distended: had 
she given me the whole draught of belladonna instead 
of a black draught? I still heard her on the stairs but 
why waste time in asking her. I went over to the 
table, poured out cup after cup of tea and draine^d 
them: then I ran down to the dining-room where my 
sister and father were at breakfast. I poured out 
their tea and drank cups full of it in silence: then I 
asked my sister to get me mustard and warm water 
and met my father's question with a brief explanation 
and request. "Go to Dr. Richards and tell him to 
come at once: I'we drunk the belladonna mixture by 
mistake; there's no time to lose." My father was 
already out of the house! My sister brought me the 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 323 

mustard and I mixed a strong dose with hot water 
and took it as an emetic; but it didn't work. I went 
upstairs to my bedroom again and put my fingers 
down my throat over the bath: I retched and retched 
but nothing came: plainly the stomach was paralysed. 
My sister came in crying. "I'm afraid there's no hope, 
Nita", I said, "the Doctor told me there was enough 
to kill a dozen men and I've drunk it all fasting; but 
you've always been good and kind to me, dear, and 
death is nothing." 

She was sobbing terribly, so to give her something 
to do, I asked her to fetch me a kettle full of hot 
water; she vanished downstairs to get it and I stood 
before the glass to make up my accounts with my own 
soul. I knew now it was the belladonna I had taken, 
all of it on an empty stomach: no chance; in ten 
minutes I should be insensible, in a few hours dead: 
dead! was I afraid? I recognized with pride that I 
was not one whit afraid or in any doubt. Death is 
nothing but an eternal sleep, nothing! Yet I wished 
that I could have had time to prove myself and show 
what was in me! Was Smith right! Could I indeed 
have become one of the best heads in the world? 
Could I have been with the really great ones had I 
lived? No one could tell now but I made up my mind 
as at the time of the rattle-snake bite, to do my best 
to live. All this time I was drinking cold water: now 
my sister brought the jug of warm water, saying, "It 
may make you throw up, dear" and I began drinking 
it in long draughts. Bit by bit I felt it more difficult 
to think, so I kissed my sister, saying, "I had better 
get into bed while I can walk, as I'm rather heavy!" 
And then as I got into bed I said, "I wonder whether 
I shall be carried out next feet-foremost while they 
chant the Miserere! Never mind, I've had a great 
draught of life and I'm ready to go if go I must!" 



324 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

At this moment Dr. Richards came in: "Now how, 
how in Goodness' name, man, after our talk and all, 
how did ye come to take it?" His fussiness and 
strong Welsh accent made me laugh: "give me the 
stomach pump, doctor, for I'm full of liquid to the 
gullet", I cried. I took the tube and pushed it down, 
sitting up in bed, and he depressed it; but only a 
brownish stream came: I had absorbed most of the 
belladonna. That was nearly my last conscious thought, 
only in myself I determined to keep thinking as long 
as I could. I heard the Doctor say: "I'll give him 
opium — a large dose", and I smiled to myself at the 
thought that the narcotic opium and the stimulant 
belladonna would alike induce unconsciousness, the 
one by exciting the heart's action, the other by 
slackening it 

Many hours afterwards I awoke: it was night, 
candles were burning and Dr. Richards was leaning 
over me: "do you know mel" he asked and at once 
I answered: "Of course I know you, Richards", and I 
went on jubilant to say: "I'm saved: I've won through. 
Had I been going to die, I should never have recovered 
consciousness." To my astonishment his brow wrink- 
led and he said, "drink this and then go to sleep again 
quietly: it's all right", and he held a glass of whitish 
liquid to my lips. I drained the glass and said joy- 
ously: "Milk! how funny you should give me milk; 
that's not prescribed in any of your books." He told 
me afterwards it was Castor-oil he had given me and 
I had mistaken it for milk. I somehow felt that my 
tongue was running away with me even before he laid 
his hand on my forehead to quiet me saying: "There 
please! don't talk, rest! please!" and I pretended to 
obey him; but couldn't make out why he shut me up? 
I could not recall my words either — why? 

A dreadful thought shook me suddenly: had I 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 325 

been talking nonsense! My father's face too appeared 
to be dreadfully perturbed while I was speaking. 

"Could one think sanely and yet talk like a mad- 
man? What an appalling fate!" I resolved in that 
case to use my revolver on myself as soon as I knew 
that my state was hopeless: that thought gave me 
peace and I turned at once to compose myself. In a 
few minutes more I was fast asleep. 

The next time I awoke, it was again night and 
again the Doctor was beside me and my sister: "Do 
you know me?" he asked again, and again I replied: 
■"Of course I know you and Sis here as well." 

"That's great", he cried joyously, "now you'll soon 
be well again." 

"Of course I shall", I cried joyously, "I told you 
that before: but you seemed hurt; did I wander in 
my mind?" 

"There, there", he cried, "don't excite yourself and 
you'll soon be well again!" 

"Was it a near squeak!" I asked. 

'You must know it was", he replied, "you took 
sixty grains of belladonna fasting and the books give 
at most quarter of a grain for a dose and declare one 
grain to be generally fatal. I shall never be able to 
brag of your case in the medical journals", he went on 
smiling, "for no one would ever believe that a heart 
could go on galloping far too fast to count, but cer- 
tainly two hundred odd times a minute for thirty odd 
hours without bursting. You've been tested", he 
concluded, "as no one was ever tested before and have 
come back safe! But now sleep again", he said, "sleep 
is Nature's restorative." 

Next morning I awoke rested but very weak: the 
Doctor came in and sponged me in warm water and 
changed my linen: my nightshirt and a great part 
of the sheet were quite brown. "Can you make 



326 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

water!" he asked, handing me a bed-dish: I tried and 
at once succeeded. 

"The wonder is complete!!" he cried, "I'll bet, you 
have cured your lumbago too", and indeed I was com- 
pletely free of pain. 

That evening or the next my father and I had a 
great, heart-to-heart talk. I told him all my ambitions 
and he tried to persuade me to take one hundred 
pounds a year from him to continue my studies. I told 
him I couldn't, though I was just as grateful. "I'll get 
work as soon as I am strong", I said; but his unselfish 
affection shook my very soul and when he told me 
that my sister, too, had agreed he should make me the 
allowance, I could only shake my head and thank 
him. That evening I went to bed early and he came 
and sat with me: he said that the doctor advised that 
I should take a long rest. Strange colored lights kept 
sweeping across my sight every time I shut my eyes: 
so I asked him to lie beside me and hold my hand. At 
once he lay down beside me and with his hand in 
mine, I soon fell asleep and slept like a log till seven 
next morning. I awoke perfectly well and refreshed 
and was shocked to see that my father's face was 
strangely drawn and white and when he tried to get 
off the bed, he nearly fell. I saw then that he had 
lain all the night through on the brass edge of the 
bed rather than risk disturbing me to give him more 
room. From that time to the end of his noble and 
unselfish life, some twenty-five years later, I had only 
praise and admiration for him. 

As soon as I began to take note of things, I 
remarked that Lizzie no longer came near my room. 
One day I asked my sister what had become of her. 
To my astonishment my sister broke out in passionate 
dislike of her: "while you were lying unconscious", 
she cried, "and the doctor was taking your pulse every 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 327 

few minutes, evidently frightened: he asked me could 
he get a prescription made up at once: he wanted to 
inject morphia, he said, to stop or check the racing 
of your heart. He wrote the prescription and I sent 
Lizzie with it and told her to be as quick as she could 
for your life might depend on it. When she didn't 
come back in ten minutes, I got the Doctor to write 
it out again and sent Father with it. He brought it 
back in double-quick time. Hours passed and Lizzie 
didn't return: she had gone out before ten and didn't 
get back till it was almost one. I asked her where 
she had been? Why she hadn't got back sooner? She 
replied coolly that she had been listening to the Band. 
I was so shocked and angry I wouldn't keep her 
another moment. I sent her away at once. Think of 
it! I have no patience with such heartless brutes!" 

Lizzie's callousness seemed to me even stranger 
than it seemed to my sister. I have often noticed that 
girls are less considerate of others than even boys, 
unless their affections are engaged, but I certainly 
thought I had half won Lizzie at least! However, 
the fact is so peculiar that I insert it here for what 
it may be worth. 

During my convalescence which lasted three 
months, Molly went for a visit to some friends : at the 
time I regretted it; now looking back I have no 
doubt she went away to free herself from an engage- 
ment she thought ill-advised. Missing her I went 
about with her younger, prettier sister Kathleen who 
was more sensuous and more affectionate than Molly. 

A little later, Molly went to Dresden to stay with 
an elder married sister: thence she wrote to me to set 
her free and I consented as a matter of course very 
willingly. Indeed I had already more real affection 
for Kathleen than Molly had ever called to life in me. 

As I got strong again I came to know a young 



328 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

Oxford man who professed to be astonished at my 
knowledge of literature and one day he came to me 
with the news that Grant Allen, the writer, had thrown 
up his job as Professor of Literature at Brighton 
College: "why should you not apply for it: it's about 
two hundred pounds a year and they can do no worse 
than refuse you." 

I wrote to Taine at once, telling him of the posi- 
tion and my illness and asking him to send me a letter 
of recommendation if he thought I was fit. By return 
of post I got a letter from him recommending me in 
the warmest way. This letter I sent on to Dr. Bigge, 
the Headmaster, together with one from Professor 
Smith of Lawrence and Dr. Bigge answered by asking 
me to come to Brighton to see him. Within twenty- 
four hours I went and was accepted forthwith, though 
he thought I looked too young to keep discipline. He 
soon realised that his fears were merely imaginary: 
I could have kept order in a cage of hyenas. 

A long book would not exhaust my year as a 
Master in Brighton College; but only two or three 
happenings require notice here as affecting my cha- 
racter and its growth. First of all, I found in every 
class of thirty lads, five or six of real ability, and in 
the whole school three or four of astonishing minds, 
well graced, too in manners and spirit. But six out 
of ten were both stupid and obstinate and these I left 
wholly to their own devices. 

Dr. Bigge warned me by a report of my work ex- 
hibited on the notice-board of the Sixth Form that 
while some of my scholars displayed great improve- 
ment, the vast majority showed none at all. I went to 
see him immediately and handed him my written 
resignation to take place at any moment he pleased. 
"I cannot bother with the fools who don't even wish to 
learn", I said, "but I'll do anything for the others." 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 329 

Most of the abler boys liked me, I believe, and a 
little characteristic incident came to help me. There 
was a Form-master named Wolverton, an Oxford 
man and son of a well-known Archdeacon, who some- 
times went out with me to the theatre or the roller- 
skating rink in West Street. One night at the rink 
he drew my attention to a youth in a straw hat going 
out accompanied by a woman. 

"Look at that", said Wolverton, "there goes So 
and So in our colors and with a woman! Did you see 
him!" 

"I didn't pay much attention", I replied, "but 
surely there's nothing unusual in a Sixth Form boy 
trying his wings outside the nest." 

At the next Masters' Meeting, to my horror, 
Wolverton related the circumstance and ended up by 
declaring that unless the boy could give the name of 
the woman, he should be expelled. He called upon me 
as a witness to the fact. 

I got up at once and said that I was far too short- 
sighted to distinguish the boy at half the distance 
and I refused to be used in the matter in any way. 

Dr. Bigge thought the offence very grave: "the 
morals of a boy", he declared, "were the most impor- 
tant part of his education: the matter must be probed 
to the bottom: he thought that on reflection I would 
not deny that I had seen a College boy that night in 
colors and in suspicious company. 

I thereupon got up and freed my soul; the whole 
crew seemed to me mere hypocrites. 

"In the Doctor's own House", I said, "where I 
take evening preparation, I could give him a list of 
boys who are known as lovers, notorious even, and 
so long as this vice is winked at throughout the 
school, I shall be no party to persecuting anybody 
for yielding to legitimate and natural passion." I 



330 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

had hardly got out the last words when Cotteril, the 
son of the Bishop of Edinburgh, got up and called 
upon me to free his House from any such odious and 
unbearable suspicion. 

I retorted immediately that there was a pair in 
his house known as "The Inseparables" and went on 
to state that my quarrel was with the whole boarding- 
house system and not with individual masters who, 
I was fain to believe, did their best. 

The Vice-principal, Dr. Newton, was the only 
one who even recognized my good motives: he came 
away from the meeting with me and advised me to 
consult with his wife. After this I was practically 
boycotted by the masters : I had dared to say in public 
what Wolverton and others of them had admitted to 
me in private a dozen times. 

Mrs. Newton, the vice-principal's wife, was one 
of the leaders of Brighton society: she was what the 
French call une maitresse femme, and a born leader 
in any society. She advised me to form girls' classes 
in literature for the half -holidays each week; was good 
enough to send out the circulars and lend her drawing- 
room for my first lectures. In a week I had fifty 
pupils who paid me half a crown a lesson and I soon 
found myself drawing ten pounds a week in addition 
to my pay. I saved every penny and thus came in a 
year to monetary freedom. 

At every crisis in my life I have been helped by 
good friends who have aided me out of pure kindness 
at cost of time and trouble to themselves. Smith 
helped me in Lawrence and Mrs. Newton at Brighton 
out of bountiful human sympathy. 

Before this even I had got to know a man named 
Harold Hamilton, manager of the London & County 
Bank, I think, at Brighton. It amused him to see how 
quickly and regularly my balance grew: soon I con- 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 331 

fided my plans to him and my purpose: he was all 
sympathy. I lent him books and his daughter Ada 
was assiduous at all my lectures. 

In the nick of time for me the war broke out 
between Chili and Peru: Chilian bonds dropped from 
90 to 60: I saw Hamilton and assured him that Chili 
if left alone, could beat all South America: he advised 
me to wait and see. A little later Bolivia threw in 
her lot with Peru and Chilian bonds fell to 43 or 44. 
At once I went to Hamilton and asked him to buy 
Chilians for all I possessed on a margin of three or 
four. After much talk he did what I wished on a 
margin of ten: a fortnight later came the news of the 
first Chilian victory and Chilians jumped to 60 odd 
and continued to climb steadily: I sold at over 80 and 
thus netted from my first five hundred pounds over 
two thousand pounds and by Christmas was free once 
more to study with a mind at case. Hamilton told me 
that he had followed my lead a little later but had 
made more from a larger investment. 

The most important happening at Brighton I 
must now relate. I have already told in a pen- 
portrait of Carlyle published by Austin Harrison 
in the "English Review" some twelve years ago how 
I went one Sunday morning and called upon my 
hero, Thomas Carlyle in Chelsea. T told there, 
too, how on more than one Sunday I used 
to meet him on his morning walk along the Chelsea 
embankment, and how once at least he talked to me 
of his wife and admitted his impotence. 

I only gave a summary of a few talks in my 
portrait of him; for the traits did not call for 
strengthening by repetition; but here I am inclined 
to add a few details, for everything about Carlyle at 
his best, is of enduring interest! 

When I told him how I had been affected by read- 



332 MY LIFE) AND LOVES. 

ing Emerson's speech to the students of Dartmouth 
College and how it had in a way forced me to give up 
my law-practice and go to Europe to study, he broke 
in excitedly: 

"I remember well reading that very page to my 
wife and saying that nothing like it for pure nobility 
had been heard since Schiller went silent. It had a 
great power with it . . . And so that started you off 
and changed your way of life? ... I don't wonder 
it was a great Call." 

After that Carlyle seemed to like me. At our final 
parting too, when I was going to Germany to study 
and he wished me "God speed and Goodspeed! on 
the way that lies before ye", he spoke again of Emer- 
son and the sorrow he had felt on parting with him, 
deep, deep sorrow and regret, and he added, laying 
his hands on my shoulders, "sorrowing most of all 
that they should see his face no more forever." I 
remembered the passage and cried: 

"Oh, Sir, I should have said that, for mine is the 
loss, mine the unspeakable misfortune now", and 
through my tears I saw that his eyes too were full. 

He had just given me a letter to Froude, "good, 
kindly Froude", who, he was sure, would help me in 
any way of commendation to some literary position 
"if I have gone, as is most likely", and in due time 
Froude did help me as I shall tell in the proper place. 

My pen-portrait of Carlyle was ferociously at- 
tacked by a kinsman, Alexander Carlyle, who evi- 
dently believed that I had got my knowledge of Car- 
lyle's weakness from Froude's revelations in 1904. 
But luckily for me, Sir Charles Jessel remembered a 
dinner in the Garrick Club given by him in 1886 or 
1887, at which both Sir Richard Quain and myself 
were present. Jessel recalled distinctly that I had 
that evening told the story of Carlyle's impotence as 



EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 333 

explaining the sadness of his married life and had 
then asserted that the confession came to me from 
Carlyle himself. 

At that dinner Sir Richard Quain said that he 
had been Mrs. Carlyle's physician and that he would 
tell me later exactly what Mrs. Carlyle had confessed 
to him. Here is Quain's account as he gave it me that 
night in a private room at the Garrick. He said: 

"I had been a friend of the Carlyles for years: he 
was a hero to me, one of the wisest and best of men: 
she was singularly witty and worldlywise and pleased 
me even more than the sage. One evening I found her 
in great pain on the sofa: when I asked her where 
the pain was, she indicated her lower belly and I 
guessed at once that it must be some trouble connected 
with the change of life. 

"I begged her to go up to her bedroom and I 
would come in a quarter of an hour and examine her, 
assuring her the while that I was sure I could give 
her almost immediate relief. She went upstairs. In 
about ten minutes I asked her husband, would he come 
with me? He replied in his broadest Sootch accent, 
always a sign of emotion with him: 

'I'll have naething to do with it. Ye must just 
arrange it yerselves'. 

"Thereupon I went upstairs and knocked at Mrs. 
Carlyle's bedroom door: no reply: I tried to enter: 
the door was locked and unable to get an answer I 
went downstairs in a huff and flung out of the house. 

"I stayed away for a fortnight but when I went 
back one evening I was horrified to see how ill Mrs. 
Carlyle looked stretched out on the sofa, and as pale 
as death. 'You're worse!' I asked. 

'Much worse and weaker!' she replied. 

'You naughty obstinate creature!' I cried. 

'I'm your friend and your doctor and anything 



334 MY LIFE AND LOVES. 

but a fool: I'm sure I can cure you in double-quick 
time and you prefer to suffer. It's stupid of you and 
worse — Come up now at once and think of me only 
as your doctor', and I half lifted, half helped her to 
the door: I supported her up the stairs and at the 
door of her room, she said: 

'Give me ten minutes, Doctor, and I'll be ready. 
I promise you I won't lock the door again.' 

"With that assurance I waited and in ten minutes 
knocked and went in. 

"Mrs. Carlyle was lying on the bed with a woolly- 
white shawl round her head and face. I thought it 
absurd affectation in an old married woman, so I 
resolved on drastic measures: I turned the light full 
on, then I put my hand under her dress and with one 
toss threw it right over her head. I pulled her legs 
apart, dragged her to the edge of the bed and began 
inserting the speculum in her vulva: I met an obstacle: 
I looked — and immediately sprang up : 'Why, you're 
a virgo intacta' (an untouched virgin!) I exclaimed. 

She pulled the shawl from her head and said: 
'What did you expect V 

'Anything but that', I cried, 'in a woman married 
these five and twenty years!' 

"I soon found the cause of her trouble and cured 
it or rather did away with it: that night she rested 
well and was her old gay, mutinous self when I called 
next day. 

"A little later she told me her story. 

"After the marriage", she said, "Carlyle was 
strange and out of sorts, very nervous, he seemed, 
and irritable. When we reached the house we had 
supper and about eleven o'clock I said I would go to 
bed, being rather tired: he nodded and grunted some- 
thing. I put my hands on his shoulders as I passed 
him and said "Dear, do you know that you haven't 




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EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES. 335 

kissed me once, all day — this day of days!" and I 
bent down and laid my cheek against his. He kissed 
me; but said: "You, women are always kissing — I'll 
be up soon!" Forced to be content with that I went 
upstairs, undressed and got into bed: he hadn't even 
kissed me of his own accord, the whole day! 

"A little later he came up, undressed and got into 
bed beside me. I expected him to take me in his arms 
and kiss and caress me. 

'"Nothing of the sort, he lay there, jiggling like', 
("I guessed what she meant", said Quain, "the poor 
devil in a blue funk was frigging himself to get a 
cock-stand.") 'I thought for some time', Mrs. Carlyle 
went on, 'one moment I wanted to kiss and caress him ; 
the next moment I felt indignant. Suddenly it occur- 
red to me that in all my hopes and imaginings of a 
first night, I had never got near the reality: silent, 
the man lay there jiggling, jiggling. Suddenly I 
burst out laughing: it was all too wretched! too ab- 
surd!' 

" 'At once he got out of bed with the one scornful 
word 'Woman!' and went into the next room: he 
never came back to my bed. 

"'Yet he's one of the best and noblest men in the 
world and if he had been more expansive and told 
me oftener that he loved me, I could easily have for- 
given him any bodily weakness ; silence is love's worst 
enemy and after all he never really made me jealous 
save for a short time with Lady Ashburnham. I 
suppose I've been as happy with him as I could have 
been with anyone yet — ' 

"That's my story", said Quain in conclusion, "and 
I make you a present of it: even in the Elysian Fields 
I shall be content to be in the Carlyles' company. They 
were a great pair! ,, 

23 



336 



MY LIFE AND LOVES. 



Just one scene more. When I told Carlyle how 
1 had made some twenty-five hundred pounds in the 
year and told him besides how a banker offered me 
almost the certainty of a great fortune if I would 
buy with him a certain coal-wharf at Tunbridge 
Wells (it was Hamilton's pet scheme), he was greatly 
astonished. "I want to know", I went on, "if you 
think I'll be able to do good work in literature; if 
so I'll do my best. Otherwise I ought to make money 
and not waste time in making myself another second- 
rate writer." 

"No one can tell you that", said Carlyle slowly, 
"You'll be lucky if you reach the knowledge of it 
yourself before ye die! I thought my Frederic was 
great work; yet the other day you said I had buried 
him under the dozen volumes and you may be right; 
but have I ever done anything that will live? — " 

"Sure", I broke in, heartsore at my gibe, "Sure, 
your French Revolution must live and the "Heroes 
and Hero Worship", and "Latter Day Pamphlets" 
and, and — " 

"Enough", he cried, "You're sure?" 

"Quite, quite sure", I repeated. Then he said, 
"You can be equally sure of your own place; for we 
can all reach the heights we are able to oversee." 




AFTERWORD TO THE FIRST 
VOLUME OF MY LIFE'S STORY. 



T had hardly written "Finis" at the end of this book 

when the faults in it, faults both of omission and 
commission, rose in swarms and robbed me of my joy 
in the work. 

It will be six or seven years at least before I 
shall know whether the book is good and life-worthy 
or not and yet need drives me to publish it at once. 

Did not Horace require nine years to judge his 
work? 

I, therefore, want the reader to know my inten- 
tion; I want to give him the key, so to speak, to this 
chamber of my soul. 

First of all I wished to destroy or, at least, to 
qualify the universal opinion that love in youth is 
all romance and idealism. The masters all paint it 
crowned with roses of illusion: Juliet is only fourteen: 
Romeo, having lost his love, refuses life: Goethe 
follows Shakespeare in his Mignon and Marguerite: 
even the great humorist Heine and the so-called rea- 
list, Balzac, adopt the same convention. Yet to me it 
is absolutely untrue in regard to the male in boyhood 



and early youth, say from thirteen to twenty: the sex- 
urge, the lust of the flesh was so overwhelming in 
me that I was conscious only of desire. When the 
rattlesnake's poison-bag is full, he strikes at every- 
thing that moves, even the blades of grass; the poor 
brute is blinded and in pain with the overplus. In 
my youth I was blind, too, through excess of semen. 

I often say that I was thirty-five years of age 
before I saw an ugly woman, a woman that is, whom 
I didn't desire. In early puberty, all women tempted 
me; and all girls still more poignantly. 

From twenty to twenty-three, I began to distin- 
guish qualities of the mind and heart and soul; to my 
amazement, I preferred Kate to Lily, though Lily 
gave me keener sensations : Rose excited me very little 
yet I knew she was of rarer, finer quality than even 
Sophy who seemed to me an unequalled bed-fellow. 

From that time on the charms of spirit, heart and 
soul, drew me with ever-increasing magnetism, over- 
powering the pleasures of the senses though plastic 
beauty exercises as much fascination over me to-day 
as it did fifty years ago. I never knew the illusion of 
love, the rose-mist of passion till I was twenty-seven 
and I was intoxicated with it for years ; but that story 
will be for my second volume. 

Now strange to say, my loves till I left America 
just taught me as much of the refinements of passion, 
as is commonly known in these States. 

France and Greece made me wise to all that 
Europe has to teach; that deeper knowledge too is for 
the second volume in which I shall relate how a 
French girl surpassed Sophy's art as far as Sophy 
surpassed Rose's ingenuous yielding. 

But it was not till I was over forty and had made 
my second journey round the world that I learned in 
India and Burmah, all the high mysteries of sense and 



the profounder artistry of the immemorial East. I 
hope to tell it all in a third volume, together with my 
vision of European and world-politics. Then I may 
tell in a fourth volume of my breakdown in health 
and how I won it back again and how I found a pearl 
of women and learned from her what affection really 
means, the treasures of tenderness, sweet-thoughted- 
wisdom and self-abnegation that constitute the wo- 
man's soul. Vergil may lead Dante through Hell and 
Purgatory: it is Beatrice alone who can show him 
Paradise and guide him to the Divine. Having learned 
the wisdom of women — to absorb and not to reason 
— having experienced the irresistible might of gentle- 
ness and soul-subduing pity, I may tell of my begin- 
nings in literature and art and how I won to the front 
and worked with my peers and joyed in their achieve- 
ments, always believing my own to be better. Withou; 
this blessed conviction how could I ever have under- 
gone the labor or endured the shame or faced the lone- 
liness of the Garden, or carried the cross of my own 
Crucifixion; for every artist's life begins in joy and 
hope and ends in the shrouding shadows of doubt and 
defeat and the chill of everlasting night. 

In these books as in my life, there should be a 
crescendo of interest and understanding: I shall win 
the ears of men first and their senses, and later their 
minds and hearts and finally their souls; for I shall 
show them all the beautiful things 1 have discovered 
in Life's pilgrimage, all the sweet and lovable things 
too and so encourage and cheer them and those after- 
comers, my peers, whose sounding footsteps already I 
seem to hear, and I shall say as little as may be of 
defeats and downfalls and disgraces save by way of 
warning; for it is courage men need most in life, 
courage and lovingkindness. 



Is it not written in the book of Fate that he who 
gives most receives most and do we not all, if we 
would tell the truth, win more love than we give: Are 
we not all debtors to the overflowing bounty of God? 

Frank Harris. 
The Catskills Mts., this 25th doy of August 1922. 





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